There are more than 500 unmarked graves in Lye and Wollescote Cemetery, relating to stillborn and young children, and some adults.
In the late 19th century, poverty was the main killer of children and adults alike. There was no NHS, and people just could not afford to call out a doctor who had to be paid. So infections such as mumps, measles etc. were dangerous conditions to get. In addition, some could have succumbed to the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, which affected and killed upwards of 50 million people across the globe. The people of Lye and Wollescote would have been among those affected.
At that time, due to numbers and the inability to pay, many young children had to be interred, en masse, one on top of the other, in open graves, until the depth of the hole was reached and then filled in. Again, due to poverty, these graves were unmarked, although, generally, records were kept as to where specifically many of them were interred. This type of burial would have been repeated in other areas locally and across the country in areas where people existed in poverty.
We would like to honour these young people with a suitable memorial, and we have now officially launched a project to enable us to do so. As yet, as the project is still in its infancy, we have not decided what form the memorial will take, or how much it will cost, but we are determined to raise enough funds to reach our aim.
Your help and support in whatever form will be gratefully appreciated.