Jan 24 2013 By Jackie Grant
Sixty-five years after giving birth to a stillborn baby, the grave where Margaret Houston’s first child was laid to rest has finally been marked.
Despite the decades passing by and the births of three more children, Kirkcudbright woman Margaret never recovered from her loss.
But she finally feels “comforted and content” by a newly erected memorial statue in the local cemetery dedicated to all stillborn babies.
Margaret was only 20 when she went into labour at home in Kirkcudbright on October 9, 1947. She had no idea that the result would end in tragedy rather than joy.
She was only allowed a glimpse of her daughter before she was taken away to be buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave before sundown that same day.
Margaret’s baby was never named or even registered, and older members of the family frowned upon her if she dared to mention it.
the years, daughter Jane Young has been a huge support to her mum, and
when she found out that Dumfries and Galloway SANDS, a voluntary group
of parents who have
experienced the death of a baby, had commissioned a sculpture at St Michael’s cemetery, Dumfries, for parents who have lost babies, Jane thought it would be a great idea to have the same in the Stewartry.
Alison Hall, of SANDS, was delighted to help, and Margaret met Dalbeattie artist Lynda Burns to choose a design for the sculpture. This was then erected with help from stonemason George McLachlan.
Alison said: “I’m thrilled that the charity was able to play a part in producing a sculpture for Kirkcudbright where parents like Margaret might be able to find some peace.”
Jane said the memorial has finally brought her mum some comfort.
She said: “This is the perfect way for grieving parents to remember their babies. I had been keeping an eye on the progress at the site and on October 9, the date my mum’s baby girl was born, we went to the cemetery to put flowers up there and just as we were approaching, the finishing touches were being made to the memorial.
“Mum walked up and touched it and at that point, two jets went flying overhead. It really was quite magical. She says she feels more comforted and content now that the grave has been marked after all these years.”