October 1 2014 Latest news:
By Chandni Tanna
Thursday, May 29, 2014
A couple trying to locate the grave of a baby girl who died more than 50 years ago have been told by the church in question that it is unlikely that her grave will be found.
Richard Frank and his wife Tammi have been trying to find the grave of Mrs Frank’s baby sister, Jane, who died in June 1963 and was buried at Royston Cemetery on Melbourn Road, which is owned by Royston Parish Church.
As reported in the Crow last week, Mr and Mrs Frank obtained records of Jane’s death from Hertfordshire Records and Archives which show the baby was buried in the churchyard but it does not reveal the grave’s precise location.
However plans of the graveyard, which are held by the church and would identify where she has been buried, have not been kept up to date by the church despite it being something the church must do by law.
Speaking to the Crow following a meeting with the Arch Deacon of Hertford, Trevor Jones, Mr Frank, of Woolgrove Road in Hitchin, said: “I have been told that it is unlikely that we will ever know where she is buried. The church has said we can have a memorial put in the graveyard to say that baby Jane is buried somewhere in the churchyard, but this is not the way to carry on. There isn’t a lot that we can do.”
The church has told the family that it can have a memorial, which they would have to pay for, but would not charge the family church costs
“The only explanation that we have been given as to why the records were not kept up-date is that at the time the vicar was away on holiday and no one probably recorded her place of burial. It is a great pity that this has happened and obviously we feel very upset and angry by this.”
Baby Jane was just 30 days old when she died. A coroner’s inquest ruled death was from asphyxiation due to misadventure.
A spokesman for the Diocese of St Albans said: “At the time that baby Jane was buried, in the early 1960s, not every infant was buried in a marked grave, although the burial would be included on the burial register, as Mr and Mrs Franks have seen.
“It seems that they now accept that, regrettably, the burial place of baby Jane cannot be located. They are now pursuing, with the church, the placing of an appropriate memorial plaque in the churchyard.”