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A MEMORIAL for hundreds of tiny babies is to be unveiled next week at Edgerton Cemetery.

The new baby memorial will give bereaved parents a focal point for remembrance, as they mourn babies who were stillborn or died just after birth.

The news follows angry protests by families who had called for a memorial but then discovered that Kirklees Council had planned to go ahead without telling them.

Now, however, leading campaigner Bruce Jackson has welcomed the moves which will see the memorial commissioned on June 10.

He said: "I'm happy about the outcome and the memorial.

"Hopefully it will help families to come to some kind of terms with what happened and the memorial will give them a focal point within the cemetery instead of having to roam around looking for unmarked graves.

"It will give them somewhere to focus their emotions.'' Mr Jackson added: "If people contact Kirklees Bereavement Services they will find them empathetic and will deal with the inquiry in a caring way." The Canon Catherine Ogle, of Huddersfield Parish Church (right), and the chaplains of Huddersfield Royal Infirmary will be holding an

Interfaith blessing at the new memorial on Wednesday, June 10, at 11am.

Bereaved parents and others are welcome to attend the special event.

The memorial commemorates hundreds of babies buried in unmarked graves throughout the cemetery and is to be situated in an area with other public memorials at the Blacker Road side of the cemetery, near the war memorial and the Booth Factory Fire Memorial.

Mr Jackson launched the campaign for recognition for the unmarked graves of children who were stillborn or died just days after being born.

His son was buried in one of the mass graves with 11 other children in 1984.

The council had planned to unveil a memorial with only councillors and officials present, saying it did not want to 'stir up old emotions' by inviting everyone.

Following his complaint the council agreed to postpone the event and promised to consult with him and advertise the memorial in the Examiner.

The monument is a design done by Batley artist Eric Medlock for a baby memorial in Batley Cemetery and the memorial base was crafted by Huddersfield stone mason Fred Evans.

Clr Molly Walton said: "The Batley memorial has been a very welcome addition to the cemetery there and is usually covered in flowers.

"It was decided to use this design again because it was clearly popular with visitors and I hope the memorial at Edgerton will prove as popular." Canon Ogle, who is organising an inter-faith service for the memorial, said she was really pleased Kirklees Council had agreed to fund the memorial stone.

Mrs Ogle said the date had been pencilled into her diary for a couple of weeks and she had been working with Kirklees Council and ministers from all faiths.

She added: "It will be a simple and significant service led by Christian ministers and other faiths, as a quiet time of thanks giving and reflection and opportunity for people to remember their little ones who passed away."


RELIEF AT LAST: Campaigner Bruce Jackson is delighted by the news a memorial is to be unveiled next week at Edgerton Cemetery
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jun 2, 2009
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