The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is being enlisted to help shed fresh light on the dead abandoned at Horton Cemetery.

The Epsom Guardian has been charting the research of ex mayor Councillor Sheila Carlson into the cemetery, off Hook Road in Epsom, since human remains surfaced in March and were discovered by teenagers who had entered the site.

The cemetery, which contains 8,000 bodies of those who died at Horton Hospital - part of the Epsom Cluster of mental hospitals in the 1900s and a war hospital during the World Wars, is privately-owned by Marques Securities - which bought it for a nominal sum from the NHS and has left it to degenerate.

In contacting the MoD, Coun Carlson is hunting for the names of soldiers buried at the cemetery, in a bid to have them officially commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) and to impress upon the owners a sense of moral responsibility.

She said: "I have written a report on the cemetery which Chris Grayling MP has passed on to the MoD.

"The death records for Horton Hospital in the Metropolitan Archives seem to show nobody died at the hospital during WW2 which can’t be true so anybody who died there during that period has to be recorded elsewhere.

"Surrey’s burial records at Woking for Horton Cemetery also only show the two soldiers who are already commemorated at Epsom Cemetery by the CWGC.

"It is weird that those two in particular were recorded and picked out for commemoration - coincidentally one from each war.

"There must be other soldiers and I am hoping that the MOD records might have something."

Coun Carlson said: "We don’t yet have a great deal to pressurise the owners with - we want to hit them with a lot more strength.

"The diocese of Guildford is also fairly adamant the ground is not consecrated which would give them extra weight if they wanted to sell the land or do something else with it.

"But publicising the situation has already jogged memories and I’m still looking to hear from anybody who remembers anything."

If you have any information about Horton Cemetery email Coun Carlson on or call her on 01372 723093.