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Mass graves for babies

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I was a little disturbed to discover this morning that people who can’t afford funerals for their dead babies in London get them chucked in mass graves. This came to light after a fox dug up and ate one of the baby corpses. Ate it.

There’s the nugget of a brilliant horror film in there somewhere – tiny baby zombies attacking London looking for revenge. But there’s also a sense that we haven’t really moved on all that much from the London of Dickens and Pauper’s graves.

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2 responses »

  1. I dunno about mass graves (how nasty, poor bairns), but I know it always used to be the way that dead babies (especially if they were stillborn and thus not baptised or whatever) would just be tucked away in random coffins with whoever else had happened to die at the same time.

    I know that when my grandmother died in childbirth in 1960 and her baby died too, my granddad had to fight really hard to be allowed to bury his wife with the baby in her arms, rather than tucked away by her feet.

    Reply
  2. That’s a shocking image. I guess it makes more and more sense the further you go back into the past – when infant mortality was a normal event, perhaps being pragmatic about the corpses of dead babies was more psychologically healthy?

    Though, writing “corpses of dead babies” makes me feel utterly macabre.

    Reply

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