Home   Folkestone   News   Article

Mum searches for family of toddler buried alongside her son who died 30 years ago

A mother in the process of arranging a headstone for the baby boy she lost 30 years ago is now trying to find the relatives of the toddler buried alongside him.

Angela Carvell's son Paul Simon died at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford on February 25, 1988, aged just one day following complications during birth.

Paul Simon Hamnett Sadler
Paul Simon Hamnett Sadler

He was laid to rest in the Cheriton Road Cemetery in Folkestone, where the family were living at the time.

But due to costs and the family's financial situation, Paul Simon was placed in an unmarked grave following his small funeral.

Now, three decades later, Mrs Carvell, 58, has decided to place a headstone on the plot in his memory.

She said: "We lost Paul Simon in 1988 and couldn't afford a plot of land. Circumstances were very difficult.

"I've moved away from the area now and did consider moving him to be closer to me.

"But after I decided against that I looked into getting a headstone for him instead.

Angela Carvell
Angela Carvell

"It was always in the back of my mind. And three years ago I supported my niece who lost a baby and it brought it all back.

"I recalled the trauma I had been through and the grieving process started all over again.

"Now is the time, it's been 30 years."

And through her research Mrs Carvell, who was once in the Women's Royal Army Corps, discovered another child, two-year-old Herbert William Tomlin, is buried in the same grave as Paul Simon.

The occupational therapist, who lives in Potto, North Yorkshire, has now arranged for the headstone to carry both Paul's name, and Herbert's.

And she contacted KentOnline's sister paper Folkestone & Hythe Express in an effort to try and find any living relatives of Herbert, who died on May 16, 1883 and lived at 2 Harvey Street in Folkestone.

Mrs Carvell in Folkestone in the 1980s
Mrs Carvell in Folkestone in the 1980s

Mrs Carvell, also mum to Zoe and Glyn, said: "It is almost comforting to think he is there with someone else.

"So I decided to get the memorial stone for Paul but also to get the other boy's name on there too.

"I wanted to see if he had any living family, who might be interested to know what I've done."

The headstone, which together with buying the plot cost over £1,000, will read: "Paul Simon Hamnett Sadler. Born 24/2/1988 died 25/2/1988. Always in our hearts beautiful boy.

"Plus Herbert William Tomlin, aged 2 1/2, died 16/5/1883."

Unmarked graves can sometimes be used more than once.

A Folkestone and Hythe District Council spokesman explained: "The majority of graves are purchased. The purchase of a grave confers certain rights to the owner these include the rights of burial and the right to erect a headstone or memorial.

"Unpurchased graves do not have this right and may have been previously used over 100 years ago.

"Various legislation, burial acts and the Local Authorities Cemeteries Order 1977 govern how cemeteries are used and burials carried out. Graves that have not been used for more than 100 years can be re-used.

"If there is pressure on space in an area then this time period can be lowered to 75 years. This is particularly the case in Greater London where they have an act of Parliament in relation to this."

Mrs Carvell, a grandmother-of-five, also learnt that young Herbert's brother was also buried in the same cemetery in a plot close by.

If you might be related to Herbert Tomlin, contact the Express by emailing folkestoneexpress@thekmgroup.co.uk.

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

For more real life stories, click here.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More