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HS2’s desecration of graves is blatant and premeditated

15 November, 2018

The dig site: ‘This desecration is blatant and premeditated’

• MOST of us know someone in a graveyard. Many of us might have actually been there when that person was laid to rest. Every person lying in that graveyard was a father or mother, a son or daughter, a friend or lover.

Solemn words were said and many tears were shed as the deceased was buried following the rites of a current day belief system that places religious importance in the sacred and final act of a funeral.

I’ve been to a few funerals in my time and as you stand by the graveside the last thing you’re thinking about is how soon that grave might be turned into just another platform of a train station.

You believe that you are genuinely laying a person to rest in ground that is special, consecrated, and sacred and will be there for a great many generations to come. Not so with HS2. They reckon they’re above all that.

They won’t let a little technicality like the desecration of 60,000 graves get in the way of their work. HS2 instead calls them 60,000 “skeletons” and invites in a team of archaeologists to do the digging.

After all archaeology is fun isn’t it? Like Time Team on the telly or Indiana Jones on his next Hollywood adventure, archaeology has the capacity to entertain and educate while discovering how people lived in societies and civilisations long since gone.

Digging up St James Gardens is not archaeology. It’s the largest scale desecration of graves you are likely to see in your lifetime, (Media fanfare over graveyard dig ‘a smokescreen hiding HS2 chaos’, November 8).

Dressing up this act of despicable disrespect for the dead as archaeology is simply utter nonsense. Just because it’s a bunch of people on their knees with little trowels and brushes doesn’t make it any less of a desecration.

What’s worse is this desecration is blatant and premeditated. Removing headstones and digging up coffins isn’t entertaining or educating.

The BBC certainly shouldn’t cover it as an archaeological dig but as the diabolical consequence of the costly, unnecessary, and unwanted construction project that HS2 really is.

IVOR DAVIES
Regent’s Park Estate, NW1

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