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Exhumations at cemetery sites occur rarely.  They can be a very costly and lengthy process and may take place for a number of reasons.  These include: -

 

  • Court orders for forensic examination
  • Movement from a grave to a subsequently acquired family plot
  • Repatriation overseas to be buried alongside other family

 

It is an offence to exhume any buried or cremated remains without first obtaining the necessary lawful permissions.  A funeral director will be able to assist you in obtaining these.

 

  • A licence must be obtained from the Home Office.  These may contain certain conditions to be observed. 
  • Occasionally cadaver certificates are required in additions to exhumation licences.  These are generally requested when moving a body to be buried overseas

 

An Environmental Health Officer must be present at the exhumation.  They will supervise the event to ensure the following:

 

  • The correct grave is opened
  • The exhumation commences in such a manner to ensure maximum privacy and respect for the deceased person is maintained
  • Health and Safety for all workers on site is maintained, and that all necessary protective clothing and equipment is used
  • Due respect is shown to the deceased and the adjoining graves
  • The nameplate on the casket matches that on the licence
  • All remains and pieces of the old casket are sealed in the new one and that it is properly sealed
  • The area of exhumation is properly disinfected
  • Satisfactory arrangements are in place for the onward transmission of the remains

 

If the conditions of the exhumation licence cannot be met, or there are any public health or decency concerns, then the exhumation may not proceed.

 

Contact:

 
Bereavement Services
Telephone: (01902) 696111
Fax: (01902) 846553
Email: bereavementservices@sstaffs.gov.uk
 
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