Fam­ily’s shock over grave ‘er­ror’

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

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.

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