Meeting was ‘full of broken promises’ says Hitchin couple searching for baby’s grave

Richard and Tammi Frank at Royston Cemetery

Richard and Tammi Frank at Royston Cemetery - Credit: Archant

A couple who met with the Archdeacon of Hertford to try and locate the precise location of a baby’s grave in a churchyard have said the meeting was full of “broken promises”.

Richard Frank and his wife Tammi, of Woolgrove Road in Hitchin, have been trying to track down the grave of Mrs Frank’s baby sister Jane, who died in June 1963.

Jane – who was just 30 days old when she died – is believed to have been buried at Royston Cemetery according to data from Hertfordshire Records and Archives.

But the records do not reveal the exact location of her grave so the couple have spent the last two years trying to find the missing information.

Mr and Mrs Frank have said that a book containing plans of the graveyard, which would reveal Jane’s buriel site, was taken by the vicar at the time when he retired.

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The couple met with the Archdeacon of Hertford, Trevor Jones on Thursday for a private meeting, held in the compounds of the graveyard.

Speaking to the Comet after the meeting the couple said: “In spite of giving the Archdeacon information he asked for to help him with his enquiries, he has only made peripheral enquiries. The meeting was full of broken promises. The black book is church property containing official records that would be to the advantage of the church if it was returned after it was taken by a former vicar of the parish.

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“The Archdeacon’s offer to place a memorial was not appropriate. The area in which he offered had one infants grave dated in the 1880s. There are other areas with a number of infants graves that would have been far more suitable.”

The couple said that they still want the Church to carry out a investigation to find the grave by gathering information from local undertakers, gravediggers and other locals who may have had any involvement in the funeral.

A spokesman for the Diocese of St Albans said: “The Archdeacon of Hertford has done all that he can to help locate this grave, but he regrets that there is no more he or anyone can do that is likely to throw any further light on the precise location of the grave after exhaustive and comprehensive enquiries.

“He equally regrets that Mr and Mrs Frank have refused the offer of a headstone memorial to Jane in the churchyard.

The spokesman said that there was no obligation on the vicar or parish, more than fifty years ago, to mark the exact place of burial.

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