Sunday, 19 September 2010

Sentimental Sunday: There She Is

Thirty years ago I travelled to the grave of my great-aunt, Marion Augusta EDGCOMBE, who died aged only 4 of diphtheria on 21 July 1922.  There was only one train down in the morning from London (where I lived) to Tiverton (where she was buried), and one train back, later in the day.  But I was young and daring, so to me it was a sort of adventure.

I found the cemetery, but it was huge, and I had no idea of the grave's location.  Fortunately for me, the man in charge was actually there, and he took pity on me.  Apparently, the cemetery was in the middle of having all its records digitised (well, typewritten), but they hadn't yet reached the entry for Marion Augusta, so I got to see the original register with its beautifully neat handwriting.  [Side note: although digitising records and putting them on the internet is a boon for many who can't travel, it also removes a lot of the wonder from genealogy when you can't see the originals].

We walked to the grave, but - to my disappointment - there was no headstone, just a patch of grass.  The nice cemetery man pointed to the grave on the left, and the grave on the right.

"Six feet from there, and six feet from there.  There she is, " he said, meaning to be kind, I have no doubt, but I found it rather tragic.  Then and there, I vowed to Great Aunt Marion that I would buy a headstone for her, as soon as I could afford it (even a simple marker would suffice, I thought).  Thirty years later, and I still haven't been able to save up enough.  But at least I know where she is.  Little 'Marie', buried far away from the rest of her family in an unmarked grave, is not lost.

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