A ceremony has been held to remember 34 Polish servicemen who fought for Britain against the Nazis in World War Two and are buried in an derelict cemetery.

The event was organised by Epsom Court ward councillor Sheila Carlson, who has been highlighting the scandalous condition of Horton Cemetery, off Hook Road, Epsom, for a number of years.

The site was sold off by the regional health authority to private developer Marque Securities in 1983 with no conditions placed on its maintenance.

Since then it has fallen into disrepair, with rubbish strewn throughout among trees and heavy undergrowth.

FROM MARCH 18, 2014: Historian travels from Australia to visit abandoned Horton Cemetery

Up to 9,000 bodies are believed to be buried in the cemetery - many of whom were patients at the Epsom cluster of mental hospitals, including Horton Hospital at which many servicemen died while it was run as a war hospital.

Surrey Comet:

Tuesday’s ceremony was attended by the Consul General Mr Ireneusz Truszkowski representing the Polish Ambassador, Deputy Consul Ms Ines Czajczinska Da Costa from the Polish Consulate in London, Polish priest Rev Cannon Wladyslaw Wyszowadski, as well as representatives from the Polish Heritage Society, the Royal British Legion, ex-Epsom mayor Alan Carlson and Epsom court ward councillor Dan Stevens.

FROM JUNE 25, 2013: Woman travels from Poland to visit abandoned Horton Cemetery

Coun Carlson is searching for the names of soldiers buried at the cemetery in a bid to have them officially commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), which she hopes will force the owners to show a moral responsibility to maintain the cemetery.

She organised this week’s commemoration after discovering the names of 34 Polish servicemen buried at Horton Cemetery, who served in World War Two and died in the late 1940s and early 1950s, with help from the Ministry of Defence.

Surrey Comet:

Wooden crosses bearing poppies and the name of each of the servicemen were attached to the railings outside the cemetery.

Rev Wyszowadski sprinkled holy water on the crosses and said blessings, the Royal British Legion lowered its flag and a one-minute silence was held.

Coun Carlson said she also planted a few wooden crosses in the cemetery itself, with the Polish priest sprinkling water and blessing the site.

She said: "Technically it’s trespassing, but I don’t care."

The Epsom Guardian launched its Dignity for the Dead at Horton Cemetery campaign in 2012 after human remains surfaced at the site.

Many of the Polish servicemen died in Long Grove Hospital after being injured during World War Two.

The CWGC will not get involved in maintaing the cemetery as none of the Polish servicemen died within its relevant time frame - dying before the end of end of 1947.

Surrey Comet:

Speaking after the ceremony, Coun Carlson said: "These are people who had terrible times in their own country, in some cases having been captured by the Russians.

"They escaped and finally made their way to Britain and fought alongside our forces.

"Quite a lot of them suffered mentally and physically, that’s why they ended up in Long Grove.

"They died here hundreds of miles from their families and in some cases their families didn’t know where they were.

"So this is a way to honour them and for them to get some sort of recognition."

On her quest to have all those buried at Horton Cemetery officially commemorated, Coun Carlson added: "There is more and more evidence building up all the time and I think we are getting very close to a big revelation."

Surrey Comet:

Do you have any information about the dead buried at Horton Cemetery?

Contact Hardeep Matharu by calling 020 8722 6346, emailing hmatharu@london.newsquest.co.uk, or write to us: Epsom Guardian, Floor 10, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5AS.