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Mystery gravestone found dumped near Lower Rainham Road, Gillingham

By Medway Messenger reporter

A grandmother is hoping fellow readers can help solve the mystery of how a gravestone ended up dumped on wasteland.

Pam Penfold was walking her pet greyhound Extra near the Lower Rainham Road when she discovered the tribute last week.

It appears to have been dumped next to a track near the old Matthews Riding School, a short walk from Copperhouse Lane.

VIDEO: Pam Penfold is appealing for information about the gravestone

The gravestone is for a Louisa Willett, who died in February 1985, aged 49. Before calling KentOnline's sister paper the Medway Messenger, Mrs Penfold, of The Maltings, Rainham, contacted the register office but they had no details.

She then spoke to the only local Willett in the phone book, who checked with family but none of them had any knowledge of a Louisa.

The grandmother-of-four said: “I was walking Extra with my husband David when I suggested we walk that way.

“It’s been five or six years since I was last down there so I was curious whether the area had changed at all.”

The abandoned gravestone found by Pam Penfold
The abandoned gravestone found by Pam Penfold

When she spotted the gravestone, she was surprised how it could have reached its destination as it is so heavy.

She added: “I have no idea how it could have got there. It would have needed a lorry or a wheelbarrow.

“The area is not a place adults go, it’s more for curious kids who play in the derelict building nearby.”

The 70-year-old says she plans to contact Gillingham’s Woodlands Cemetery, which is about a mile away, to see if they could help.

The dumped gravestone found by dog walker Pam Penfold and her dog Extra on land near the Lower Rainham Road
The dumped gravestone found by dog walker Pam Penfold and her dog Extra on land near the Lower Rainham Road

“It’s a mystery,” she said. “It’s important to find the family of Louisa as they might not know what’s happened.

“This stone is for honouring a loved one, but it seems to have been dumped where nobody might see it.”

It is not known how long the stone has been there. It wasn’t covered in weeds so might have been dumped recently.

Do you have any information about the gravestone? Contact the newsdesk on 01634 227803.

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