Paupers graves to be honoured

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THOUSANDS of paupers graves in St Helens are being consigned to the history books.

Special headstones have been erected at nine sites in St Helens Cemetery to commemorate the 65,000 townsfolk in unmarked final resting places.

Council officials and local stonemasons worked with the Friends of St Helens Cemetery to create the project.

The headstones remind visitors of those buried in paupers graves.

The first unmarked graves were dug in 1858 at a typical cost of four shillings and six pence. An average private grave was priced at around £1 and 10 shillings.

Funds to build a special memorial to the thousands of children buried in paupers grave is currently being raised.

Ted Forsyth, from the Friends of St Helens Cemetery, said: “Over the last 150 years these graves have remained unmarked and without recognition - yet have become familiar as open, grassed areas in the cemetery.”

Councillor Alison Bacon, cabinet member for environmental protection, said: “Descendants of those in unpurchased graves can now visit the cemetery and place their tributes at the headstones.”

Stonemason involved included St Helens Monumental Co., AE Holland, JT Memorials, T Lyon and Son, FW Marsh, Ormsby and Haydock Funeral Services.

* To donate to the children’s section email friendsofsthelenscemetery@hotmail.co.uk.