Burial Death Ethics

London: Charming City of Double-decker Busses… and Now Graves

UK Cemetery: Share a Grave with a Stranger?
Jill Lawless, Associated Press (October 28, 2009)

Britain Grave Crisis (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

In efforts to conserve and open up more grave space, the City of London Cemetery, the largest graveyard in the city, has begun reclaiming graves — digging up corpses at least 75 years dead, reburying them deeper, and putting new bodies on top for “double-decker” graves.

While legally sound (well… there’s a loophole involved), it has been causing some turned stomachs… and turned up noses:

Many other European countries regularly reuse old graves after a couple of decades. Britain does not, as a result of Victorian hygiene obsession, piecemeal regulation and national tradition. For many, an Englishman’s tomb, like his home, is his castle.

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