PHOTO: Babies memorial

Cresswell has a new monument – and an affecting one it is too.

Cresswell memorial to unknown graves

The memorial is in a quiet corner of Cresswell graveyard

You may remember that, last year, we reported on plans by  St Mary Catholic Church in Cresswell to erect a new memorial, in tribute to all those who lie buried in unmarked graves in its churchyard.

The plan was for a simple but dignified memorial, and thanks to work by students at the local Catholic school, Painsley College, and by Nettlebank Memorials, it is now in place – with the words ‘In Memory Of All Those Laid To Rest In This Part Of The Cemetery’ etched on it.

Lost children

But why would anyone lie in an unmarked grave?  The churchyard is only a hundred years old.

It seems that, in the bad old days, babies and other very young children were often interred without a formal burial – and in a part of the churchyard away from the rest of the burials.
It’s not often clear why this was, but it could be that such babies were premature or unbaptised.

Sadly, we may never know their names (if they were ever even given names), but at least now they are not forgotten.

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