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Was there a secret burial at Quadring church?

The Rev Ian Walters beside the mystery grave in Quadring. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG270418-100TW
The Rev Ian Walters beside the mystery grave in Quadring. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG270418-100TW

Church leaders are baffled about changes to a grave in Quadring and fear a body or ashes may have been buried there in secret.

The original stone tablet in St Margaret’s churchyard commemorates Lavinia Birch, who died aged 38 in July 1929.

The memorial tablet for Eunice Eales. (SG270418-105TW)
The memorial tablet for Eunice Eales. (SG270418-105TW)

A second tablet has mysteriously appeared half-way down Lavinia’s grave, with an inscription apparently commemorating Lavinia’s daughter – Eunice Eales – who lived from 1928-2011.

Mr Walters is taking a softly-softly approach, appealing to anyone who knows anything about the grave to contact him, but says the matter may end up with police and could lead to an exhumation.

There are no traces in the records of a second burial of either a body or ashes, and local people are wondering what may lie underneath and if there’s anything sinister in the background – despite obvious love and attention lavished on the grave from an unknown hand.

A tablet describes Eunice as a “much-loved Mum” and says she’s “finally reunited with her own mother, Lavinia”.

The grave is newly adorned with bright red and pink primrose plants and grey slate chips.

The vicar spotted changes to the grave “round about Christmas/New Year time”, and says all efforts to find out who is responsible have drawn a blank.

Mr Walters said: “People have been saying ‘is this a thing we ought to report to the police?’ It’s suddenly appeared from nowhere and it would be a very convenient way to get rid of a body. We have had no paperwork on this.

“No one can of course legally place any form of memorial or decorated grave space in a graveyard or cemetery without permission and so, unless someone steps forward to claim responsibility soon, we may have to refer the matter to the police for investigation and these items will be removed.”

The inscription on the second tablet reads: “A much loved Mum/Eunice Eales/1928-2011/Finally reunited with her own mother Lavinia.”

A warning has been placed on the grave by Quadring Parochial Church Council, and it says: “This stone and gravelled surface/surround have been inserted without any permission or approval and is contrary to the Churchyard Regulation Acts.

“Unless permission is sought for these by 31st March 2018 application may be made to the Diocesan Chancellor for their removal.”

Although that deadline has come and gone, Mr Walters hopes someone will come forward so everything can be sorted out properly.

He said: “We would love the family to come forward and say ‘it’s us’ and then we can get everything regularised – if that doesn’t happen, it would get passed out of my hands into the hands of the law – and the law would do as they see fit, including trying to exhume anything that’s there.”

The grave concerned is beside a fence separating the churchyard from the grounds of Quadring Cowley and Brown’s Primary School.

• If you know anything about changes to the grave, please contact Mr Walters on 01775 840694.

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