The huge numbers of dead bodies that were removed from a gravesite behind Euston station to clear it for HS2 are to be reburied at Brookwood Cemetery, in Surrey.
The announcement that something in the region of 50,000 dead Londoners are to be moved to Brookwood was made by HS2, along with the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England.
HS2 took over a public garden behind Euston station in October 2018, and knowing that it was a gravesite started excavating the site to remove the dead bodies, always with the intent that they would be reburied elsewhere.
The excavation featured on a new BBC2 documentary series.
The new resting place for the dead at Brookwood Cemetery is apt as it was conceived in 1849 by the London Necropolis Company to house London’s deceased at a time when the capital was unable to accommodate increasing numbers.
When Euston Station was originally built, a slice of the old burial site was cut into by the new station, and the dead that had to be removed were reburied at Brookwood, so for the past 150 odd years, the dead of St James parish have been separated.
Now, at last, they will be reunited in the same graveyard once more.
Maybe they will be conveyed by rail from Waterloo to Brookwood as so many hundreds of thousands have been before.
One person who won’t be joining them though is Captain Matthew Flinders, the British explorer who first circumnavigated Australia and gave the country its name, who will be buried in his home village of Donington, Lincolnshire. This follows a request made by the descendants of the Flinders family and the local community for his remains to be returned to the village where he grew up.