2018 Armistice Day Wreath Laying

Camberwell Old Cemetery – 12 NOON 11th November 2018

8th November 2018

Armistice Day – Remembrance Sunday


12 NOON 11-11-2018

Camberwell Old Cemetery Gates,

Forest Hill Road SE22 0RR

We will honour the service personnel whom Southwark Council is burying and building over in Camberwell Old Cemetery.

These are men and women who died on active service during World War I and were buried here amongst some other 48,000 dead who were buried up to 20 graves deep, row upon row, on a shifting, muddy hillside over 100’s of years.

Their graves are scheduled to be mounded over with dirt, crushed building rubble. New burial plots are to sold above them.

Their headstones, woods and trees are their memorials – and should be respected and protected, not destroyed to sell ‘new’ burial plots over their graves.


‘Alternative’ Armistice Day Commemoration of the Unremembered

13th November 2017

Residents sent a strong message to Southwark Council this Armistice Day: Respect the service personnel and civilians killed in war and buried in our cemeteries – and stop burying and building over them.

Campaigners laid a wreath on Saturday 11th November, for all the military and civilian graves that Southwark is burying and building over in the Camberwell Cemeteries.

Insensitive Southwark is destroying the graves of the war dead laid to rest in peace – to sell off ‘new’ burial plots over them.

Unbelievably, this includes many Commonwealth War Graves – service personnel killed on active service during the two World Wars.

Campaigners laid a wreath at the CWGC war grave of Air Mechanic W. Norris, who died in 1916. Southwark Council has sold ‘new’ burial plots over Air Mechanic Norris’ and other CWGC war graves. The CWGC were not informed or consulted. Nor were the families.

Southwark has no excuse – they have all grave locations. The War Memorial Screen Wall lists Norris and over 130 other service personnel scattered throughout the cemetery, with their grave numbers so Southwark knows where they all lie.

John Repsch read a poem for the fallen at the War Memorial – Taking a Stand – followed by a two-minute silence. Scots Guards Piper Paul Riley then played Amazing Grace and Flowers of the Forest – so relevant with hundreds of trees already felled and ten acres of woods still threatened by Southwark’s chainsaws.

Acres of woods and trees are being cut down to get at these graves, military and civilian, to bury and build over them.

John Anderson of the Coldstream Guards Association read a commemoration to Private (Guardsman) William Stanlake VC, buried in the woods (pictured) and only recently rediscovered by the CGA. Stanlake’s is not a CWGC grave. But many CWGC WW1 and WW2 war graves are as yet ‘unlocated’ by Southwark Council – and at risk.

We walked through the cemetery to visit the CWGC war graves of the Unremembered buried and built over by Southwark Council, reading their names, families, regiments and date they died – but not forgotten.

Can Southwark Council explain how they have been burying over CWGC war graves?

We demand Southwark Council respect all military and civilian casualties – and all those buried here in the Camberwell Cemeteries – and leave them to rest in peace.

Special thanks to:

Piper Paul Riley, Scots Guards Association

John Anderson, Coldstream Guards Association

Jane Wildgoose of the Wildgoose Memorial Library

Cemetery historian and author Ruth Richardson

Kerry Hood, John Repsch and others.

Contact for more information on the Save Southwark Woods Campaign by the Friends of the Camberwell Cemeteries:



Or by phone:

Blanche Cameron – 07731 304966

Lewis Schaffer – 07886 504221

Britain at War Magazine, July 2017 issue

William Stanlake VC’s grave, Camberwell Old Cemetery Woods

Unremembered by Southwark Council – but remembered by the Coldstream Guards and Victoria Cross Association who located his grave, erected the new headstone and visit regularly to ensure he is still remembered.

Victoria Cross Association record of William Stanlake VC