Unloved boy’s grave gets Guardian Angels

Card, note and newspaper cutting from Mrs Jill Sharp

Card, note and newspaper cutting from Mrs Jill Sharp

Today a lovely pink envelope dropped through our letter box at the ScotClans office, always like pink envelopes – bills don’t tend to be in them. Inside was a thank you card, a newspaper cutting and a note all from Mrs Jill Sharp.

A while back Jills Pen-Pal had contacted us telling us Jill’s story and asking if we could send some MacNaughton tartan for Jill to put on a boys grave. We were happy to oblige, the story was so heart warming I thought I’d share it with you.

Pensioners Gordon and Jill Sharp had been visiting the graveyard at Tyringham Parish Church, which they often did.

“We often go to the churchyard and always sit on a particular bench that looks out over the fields watching the wildlife. It is one of our favourite places,” said 72-year old Jill. The bench is next to a hedge surrounded by dumped rubbish and overgrown with stinging nettles.

“One day we noticed this big stinging nettle kept giving out tiny puffs of smoke. People didn’t believe us when we told them, but my daughter came with us to check and she saw it too,” said Jill.

When the Sharps got close to the puffing nettle, they noticed part of an old headstone poking out of the overgrowth. They promptly cleared the weeds and removed years’ worth of debris to discover the grave of a 16-year-old boy. Stuart Balfour McNaughton killed himself in 1919 with his father’s shotgun.

Jill and Gordon researched old records and press reports to discover the lad had lived in nearby Filgrave rectory and was upset because his former Eton pupil father had been bullying him.

Said Jill: “In those days people who committed suicide were buried away from other graves. It could have been hidden for years and years.’

She and Gordon cleaned up the stone surrounded and planted the plot with flowers. This month Gordon took a photo of Jill sitting proudly by the transformed grave. But when it was developed, the couple could not believe their eyes.

Orb above Stuart's grave

Orb above Stuart’s grave

“There’s this big glowing orb of light right next to my head. We think it’s Stuart saying thank you to us,” said Jill.

She and Gordon are convinced the smoke-puffing nettle represented the smoking gun that lead them to the grave.
“It’s probably one of those things that can never be explained. But we’re glad it happened and that Stuart’s grave is being looked after,” said Jill.

Now Stuart’s grave will have some MacNaughton tartan on.

Thank you Jill for telling us your story.

Note from Ms Jill Sharp

Note from Ms Jill Sharp

Newspaper Article

Newspaper Article


About Amanda Moffet

I run www.scotclans.com with Rodger Moffet. Live in Edinburgh and love travelling around Scotland gathering stories.

View all posts by Amanda Moffet →

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