Flower bed in Middleton cemetery will be a memorial to lost children

Memorial to 80 children buried in Middleton Cheney Cemetery. Cllr. Richard Solesbury-Timms. NNL-170613-152448009
Memorial to 80 children buried in Middleton Cheney Cemetery. Cllr. Richard Solesbury-Timms. NNL-170613-152448009

A flower bed in Middleton Cheney graveyard is to be dedicated to children from the parish who died in infancy and childhood.

A service with representatives of all four of the parish churches – led by the Rural Dean – will take place on Sunday, July 16 to dedicate the floral feature to all children buried in the churchyard.

The memorial was organised by the parish council after it was calculated that some 80 children had been buried in the graveyard without headstones – many because of financial restrictions caused by poverty.

They include a considerable number of stillborn infants and babies who died within days or weeks of birth.

Parish councillor Richard Solesbury Timms said: “Responsibility for the upkeep of the flower bed is being given to the youngsters living at the children’s home in the village.

“They will be reciting poems they have written at the dedication ceremony. A lot of the children are buried in un-marked graves and the parish decided the flower bed would be a good way of marking their graves.”

The Bishop of Leicester consecrated Middleton’s cemetery on June 24, 1925 and it was opened for burials on July 8. The first burial on August 5 that year was that of a stillborn child, buried in an unconsecrated plot to the right of the cemetery gate, in an unmarked grave.

In 2013 Saxon bones, discovered during excavations on a development site in Middleton Cheney by Orbit Homes, are now buried in the cemetery.

These are marked by a memorial stone paid for by the developer.