Ten years ago today I created the 100th post for Greenford 365. To mark the blog’s anniversary I will attempt to post a photo every day throughout 2022.
This is the grave of George Jarrett, who died of pneumonia in 1915. His Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) headstone marks him out as a soldier, a member of the Army Service Corps. George was from Norfolk where he volunteered to serve in the First World War, long before conscription was brought in. This makes it all the more sad, shocking in fact, that his grave should be treated so disgracefully. In September 2021 I noticed that a digger was being used very close to this plot and, when I asked what was going on, was told that it was “training”. I couldn’t understand why “training” wasn’t taking place in the new extension rather than in a heritage area. The person I spoke to did not appear to understand why I was so appalled at what was happening, he did not recognise the significance of this grave marker despite being one of the management at a British cemetery. What this brings into focus is the reuse of graves in high density areas of London. In 2015, a century after George’s death, Ealing Council announced that it would extend the cemetery to the north but the pandemic and the increase in developments in the borough means that burial plots are in demand. It would make sense to encourage cremation rather than inhumation to save heritage graves but the funeral industry is a lucrative one, that and taboos surrounding death mean that plots will continue to be sold, even if it means the removal or mounding over of existing remains. A cemetery that is full, or “closed” doesn’t make money for the council.
Read about George Jarrett’s life here.
Images and text ©Albertina McNeill 2022. Please do not reproduce without permission. All rights reserved. Do not add any of these images to Pinterest or similar sites as this will be regarded as a violation of copyright.