Couple overcome with emotion after finding son’s grave.
For Paul and Dot Whitehead, a long term wish became a reality this week.
The couple were able to lay flowers and a simple cross at their son’s grave – 41 years after he died.
Dot gave birth to Christopher Paul in July 1971 at Dewsbury Hospital. However, he was born prematurely and died hours later.
But the couple, of Mortimer Street, Healey, were never told where he had been buried.
This week they were were at last able to properly mourn for their infant son after Dewsbury Cemetery helped find his grave.
Dot said: “We can now be at ease and it is closure for us.
“He will always be at the back of our minds and it feels nice to know where he is.”
The couple, who have been married more than 50 years, and went on to have a son and a daughter, began searching for the grave after Paul’s sister, Ann Leach, saw a mother on the news in a similar situation.
Ann contacted Kirklees Council and found her nephew was buried in Dewsbury Cemetery.
Christopher was buried in an unmarked communal grave, which was common practice for babies at the time.
The couple received documents from the council outlining the 739 grave plots, which included the communal grave.
Paul said: “I did not think there was a chance of finding it after 41 years.
“Christopher never had a funeral service, we never received a birth certificate and that was that.
“We just came home without him so it means a lot to us to finally know where he was buried.”
A cross engraved with roses was also placed by the grave. Dot said: “To our surprise a fairy and flowers have been left by the grave.
“It seems our search has given other people the insentive to pay their respects, which really meant a lot to us.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Batley
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West