Un­named graves pro­ject – gone but no longer for­got­ten

Mansfield Courier - - NEWS -

FOR those who have ever vis­ited the Mans­field Ceme­tery, it is ap­par­ent that many graves are oc­cu­pied yet un­marked.

The Mans­field Fam­ily History Group with as­sis­tance from the Mans­field Shire Coun­cil Com­mu­nity Match­ing Fund and the Mans­field Ceme­tery Trust is em­bark­ing on a pro­ject to mark those graves that have no head­stone or iden­ti­fier.

The pro­ject has been in the mak­ing for some 12 months and re­cently, the first 10 mark­ers were put in place.

Tony Ri­ley, vice pres­i­dent of the group, to­gether with Steve Adams and an en­thu­si­as­tic team of vol­un­teers, de­signed the cylin­dri­cal mark­ers and plaques.

“Our ini­tial aim is to in­stall 125 mark­ers,” Mr Ri­ley said.

“These mark­ers will en­com­pass all of sec­tion M and F of the ceme­tery.

Our hope is that with fur­ther fund­ing we may be able to even­tu­ally la­bel all the known un­marked graves across the en­tire ceme­tery.”

Mr Ri­ley added that coun­cil and the Mans­field Ceme­tery Trust have been very sup­port­ive of the pro­ject and the out­come is a great ex­am­ple of what can be achieved by the lo­cal com­mu­nity when they work to­gether.

Lo­cal his­to­rian and pres­i­dent of the group, Sheena Daykin, sug­gests there could be up to 1000 graves yet to be marked.

“Most of these are very old graves,” she ex­plained.

“Fam­ily mem­bers in many cases no longer ex­ist or have moved away leav­ing graves with­out head­stones or iden­ti­fiers.”

The Mans­field Ceme­tery Trust has plans to pro­duce an im­proved map of the grounds for visi­tors to bet­ter lo­cate rel­a­tives, friends and graves of in­ter­est.

NOW MARKED: Pres­i­dent of the Mans­field Fam­ily History Group, Sheena Daykin, with one of the grave mark­ers.

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