Family’s shock over grave ‘error’
AN ELDERLY woman has been left “devastated” after learning that a burial plot she purchased next to her late son had been filled by another person.
Rosalind Bay, 88, paid the £250 fee for the plot at Edgwarebury Cemetery in North West London in instalments between 1994 and 1998.
The cemetery, operated by the Edgwarebury Joint Burial Board (EJBB), is open to members of the S&P Sephardi Community, West London Synagogue, Liberal Judaism and Belsize Square Synagogue.
Mrs Bay’s son, Alvin Bay, died suddenly in 1994, aged 44.
A family spokeswoman told the JC the family was “in shock and very upset” to learn that Mrs Bay’s plot has been filled.
A “mapping error” was cited as the reason behind the problem, with an inadequate space left to accommodate the plot purchased by Mrs Bay.
EJBB records seen by the JC show Mrs Bay’s plot — number eight in row 21 — was reserved in January 1998. Mr Bay is buried in the adjacent plot, number nine.
Another person was buried in plot seven in 2017. It was later discovered that plots seven and eight overlap, making it impossible for Mrs Bay to be buried Mr Bay’s gravestone and, next to it, the plot which his mother had reserved
in the intended plot. EJBB officials are unable to relocate the occupant of the grave because the dead woman has no surviving UK-based relatives who can consent to the move.
Instead, Lester Harris, the cemetery director, has offered to either relocate Mr Bay to a new site within the cemetery, or to bury Mrs Bay in an adjacent plot between rows 21 and 22.
The family only learned of the error last month after a visit to the cemetery.