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Until fairly recently, many babies who were stillborn before 28 weeks of pregnancy were buried in unmarked graves and if they died before 1992, there may not be any official record of their cremation or burial.   While families are now encouraged to be fully involved in making decisions about their baby’s funeral, prior to the 1980’s families generally were left out of the decision-making, probably because that was seen at the time as being the ‘right thing’. 

Crematoria and cemeteries should have records of all babies who died after 24 or 28 weeks of pregnancy, but it is not always straightforward knowing in which cemetery they were buried or cremated, nor whereabouts within the grounds.  Sometimes individual hospitals had arrangements with particular cemeteries or funeral directors and factors like the family’s religion may have determined where they were laid to rest.  Some babies may have been buried alongside other family members, but again this may not always be known within the current members of a family.

Sadly, that means that so many families were robbed of the opportunity to say goodbye to their baby, and many have no idea exactly where their baby was laid to rest.  We hope that over time, by encouraging crematoria and other areas to share their records, it might be easier to trace a baby’s grave, but to start we suggest you download the very helpful advice from Sands, available through the following link.


Another charity – ‘BriefLives–Remembered’ specialises in supporting families find baby graves and you may also want to contact them.  Their website is at

Please remember that the Ashford Baby Memorial Garden is there for anyone who has lost a baby, at any time and in any circumstances.  It is never too late to order a name tile for your baby and we currently have a number dating in the Ashford Garden back to the 1960’s.  Even if you cannot find out where your baby was buried or cremated, having a name tile in the Ashford Garden may be really comforting, knowing there is somewhere special where your special baby will be remembered forever.   We charge a one-off fee of £40, but if this is a problem, please let us know as we can be very flexible.

Tracing a Baby's Grave: Text
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