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Josiah Mason Mausoleum Graveyard

Nicholas

master brummie
I've recently been speaking to a gentleman who says that he recalls some form of 'human remains' being discovered in the grounds of the Erdington Orphanage in fairly recent decades..... (Approx. the 1980's or 90's, perhaps?) In short, I was wondering whether anyone on the forum perhaps recalled something along these lines, possibly!? Surely, such a discovery - if accurately recalled - would have been relatively widely mentioned.... in the local press or some such sources?

As always - any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!!
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
I seem to remember a picture of the orphanage and it showed a mausoleum. Might the remains be something to do with that?
 

pjmburns

master brummie
Hi Lady P. I think Josiah Mason was buried in a mausoleum in the grounds. According to info on the web when the site was demolished in 1964 Mason, his wife and 53 orphans were disinterred and their ashes scattered at Perry Barr.
 

Nicholas

master brummie
Thank you very much for your prompt responses!

I had read about the mausoleum itself previously, but there are - supposedly - some references to an actual 'graveyard' at the site, which was specifically for the orphans themselves. Local rumour has it that people digging in their gardens have sometimes unearthed (what appears to be) human remains, so the inference is, presumably, that they're probably the remnants of some of these unfortunate children, etc!? Of course, local legend being what it is - especially around such sites as orphanages, hospitals, asylums and whatnot - you never quite know how much faith to put in such stories, do you?
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
I had thought that the children from the orphanage were buried at St Michael's church, Boldmere. I was told that children from 3 homes were buried there and I know one was Princess Alice and one was the farm which used to be where St Columba's is now. The other, I understood, was 'along the Birmingham Road'. I'll have to find out if this was in fact Josiah Mason's.
 

pjmburns

master brummie
I would suspect that the orphans were probably buried in more than one graveyard - if only 53 were reckoned to be in the grounds.
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmy
I think the information comes from William Dargue and the History of Birmingham Places and Placenames, but it also states...

In 1964 the trustees decided that the orphanage was out-of-date and too expensive to maintain. Prior to the building's demolition Mason's remains were disinterred, cremated with those of wife and the orphans and the ashes scattered at Perry Barr Crematorium. The site was sold for housing and the profits used to build old people's housing in Olton.

I think that it was normal for thorough search to be made and every effort made to find all remains.
 

norfolk brummie

gone but not forgotten
My sister and I were sent, to what was then known as Erdington Cottage Homes, circa 1942. I would have been about ten, and my sister, about six. We were there for around six weeks.

It was horrendous, with a lot of bullying by the teachers. One day my sister, who I had not seen for some time, caught a glimpse of me, and waved. In return, I watched her receive a very heavy slap across the face for her action. I was furious, but could do nothing. Young children, especially orphans, were unable to fight back, and no one would have believed their stories.

I am sure that, in those days, there would have been plenty of stories of abuse to young children, but at the time, the nation had other things on its mind. Even in these modern times, with all the media attention, we are only starting to learn about child abuse, in its many forms.

I am always suspicious when I hear stories referred to in earlier postings.

Eddie
 

rowan

Born a Brummie
Sorting through things to declutter I came across some books I hadn't found for many a year one being "Ballads Of OLD BIRMINGHAM" by E. M. Rudland.
Inside were papers from the Birmingham Mail one being from 1968 about Sir Josiah Mason and it mentions the mausoleum and the53 children that were buried within it along with Sir Josiah.

I remember this mausoleum very well having been raised in the Orphanage myself.

I was hoping to upload a copy of the article but I just keep getting the message that it is too big ................... sorry folks :(
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmy
Sorting through things to declutter I came across some books I hadn't found for many a year one being "Ballads Of OLD BIRMINGHAM" by E. M. Rudland.
Inside were papers from the Birmingham Mail one being from 1968 about Sir Josiah Mason and it mentions the mausoleum and the53 children that were buried within it along with Sir Josiah.

I remember this mausoleum very well having been raised in the Orphanage myself.

I was hoping to upload a copy of the article but I just keep getting the message that it is too big ................... sorry folks :(
Could you split it up in parts?

Regards, Peter.
 

rowan

Born a Brummie
I fear I will lose one half if I split them. I use Coral paint shop pro to crop them
 

Nicholas

master brummie
My sister and I were sent, to what was then known as Erdington Cottage Homes, circa 1942. I would have been about ten, and my sister, about six. We were there for around six weeks.

It was horrendous, with a lot of bullying by the teachers. One day my sister, who I had not seen for some time, caught a glimpse of me, and waved. In return, I watched her receive a very heavy slap across the face for her action. I was furious, but could do nothing. Young children, especially orphans, were unable to fight back, and no one would have believed their stories.

I am sure that, in those days, there would have been plenty of stories of abuse to young children, but at the time, the nation had other things on its mind. Even in these modern times, with all the media attention, we are only starting to learn about child abuse, in its many forms.

I am always suspicious when I hear stories referred to in earlier postings.

Eddie
Thank you for sharing such memories with us, Eddie!!

A friend of mine was adopted through / from some childrens homes that have - in more recent years - been noted for different types of abusive situations. He was only a baby when adopted - in the late 60's - and, when speaking to me about the subject, had always pondered on the fate and treatment of a lot of the unfortunate children who shared the same fate as him......
 

CHINCH

master brummie
My sister and I were sent, to what was then known as Erdington Cottage Homes, circa 1942. I would have been about ten, and my sister, about six. We were there for around six weeks.

It was horrendous, with a lot of bullying by the teachers. One day my sister, who I had not seen for some time, caught a glimpse of me, and waved. In return, I watched her receive a very heavy slap across the face for her action. I was furious, but could do nothing. Young children, especially orphans, were unable to fight back, and no one would have believed their stories.

I am sure that, in those days, there would have been plenty of stories of abuse to young children, but at the time, the nation had other things on its mind. Even in these modern times, with all the media attention, we are only starting to learn about child abuse, in its many forms.

I am always suspicious when I hear stories referred to in earlier postings.

Eddie
hello Eddie, you sound as if you had a rough time at Erdington COTTAGE Homes. I do hope it wasn't like that always. I wonder if you remember any of the staff names from the time you were there? I think my Grandmother may have been there in the early '30's and have an autograph book with verses from various people which we found when she died. I don't know if it was from the COTTAGE Home. I have posted some photo's on the thread, Marston Green Nurses. I wonder if any of the names ring a bell. I would be grateful for any information you might have. Thanks, CHINCH.
 

norfolk brummie

gone but not forgotten
hello Eddie, you sound as if you had a rough time at Erdington COTTAGE Homes. I do hope it wasn't like that always. I wonder if you remember any of the staff names from the time you were there? I think my Grandmother may have been there in the early '30's and have an autograph book with verses from various people which we found when she died. I don't know if it was from the COTTAGE Home. I have posted some photo's on the thread, Marston Green Nurses. I wonder if any of the names ring a bell. I would be grateful for any information you might have. Thanks, CHINCH.
Hello CHINCH,

I have no idea of any names. My sister and I were only placed in there for six weeks.

We were not really orphans. Our father was away, fighting, and our mother had been diagnosed with Scarlet Fever, and taken to hospital. Because the disease is contagious, our relatives were unable to take in my sister and I, hence the time spent in Erdington Cottage Homes.

Even at that early age, I was smart enough to realise that the treatment we received was not quite right, and was delighted to return home. I put it down to an 'experience in life', but I was aware that, for many children that had no home life to return to, a loving home life was something that they could only dream about. I say all of that, because I vividly remember conversations I had with young lads less fortunate than myself.

Eddie
 

CHINCH

master brummie
Hi Eddie, thanks for replying to my post. What an awful memory to have but, fortunately, your time there was short. I hate to think that my Grandmother or any other child would suffer like that at the hands of those supposedly there to look after them. I like to think that , because the verses in my Grandmother's autograph book were so loving and quite gentle, that she was loved and looked after well. I know the reality was possibly very different. I imagine you appreciated your parents a lot more after your experience.

CHINCH
 
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