Barton Seagrave couple get headstone for tragic baby girl after 38 years

A baby girl known only as a 'fallen sparrow' has been given a headstone after a 38-year-long campaign by a former vicar and his wife.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 6:00 am
Joan Smith, Cllr Graham Walker, Margaret Burgon and Stella Mackenzie.

Margaret and her husband George Burgon, who was the former vicar of St Mary's Church in Far Cotton for 23 years and who now live in Barton Seagrave, laid an unknown baby girl to rest almost 40 years ago at Towcester Road Cemetery.

Between them and their friends, they have been visiting the baby's place of rest for decades, laying bunches of flowers four times a year at her grave, which only had a vase and no headstone.

Margaret said: "My husband took the funeral all those years ago and I've been coming with him to visit because I felt someone had to reflect love and motherhood.

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The new headstone reads 'In loving memory of an unknown baby girl. Died 18th May 1982. A fallen sparrow, known only to God and loved by God'

"When he buried her he was not able to give her a name so we named her 'fallen sparrow', known only to God and loved by God.

"A promise I made to her in 1982 is that she would never be forgotten."

On the morning of May 18, 1982 the baby's body was found in a carrier bag near Northampton train station. No one has ever been brought to justice over her death.

The baby was given a full Christian burial in the November and a while later Co-op Funeral Directors placed a stone flower vase to mark her grave but the baby has been without a headstone for 38 years.

Flowers were left at the headstone by Margaret on Friday after AJ Mills placed the new headstone

On Friday (December 6) stonemason, Jordan Mills, of AJ Mills in Rothwell, donated a headstone for the baby, before a memorial ceremony was held for her.

"I now feel content," Margaret added. "This baby was not afforded the dignity of being buried in the children’s section but placed on the edge of the cemetery. I doubt any visitors realise she is there.

"In fact the whole area had become very overgrown and I must thank Graham Walker, the local councillor, for arranging to get it cleared so this headstone can go in place.

"I feel now that I have finally kept my promise to her and visitors to the cemetery will see a headstone to this unknown baby girl whose life was so cruelly taken at the hands of others."