Two sisters have made sure Dundee’s once forgotten loved ones will now be remembered forever.
Sandra Hall and Valerie Fearn spent a year trying to persuade the city council to install a permanent memorial to those buried in the “poor ground” at Eastern Cemetery.
The pair wanted to create a tribute for everyone with relatives buried in what were dubbed “poor graves” for people unable to afford a gravestone.
The stone was completed earlier this year and a plaque has now been attached to complete the tribute.
Sandra, 70, from Marchfield Road, said: “My dad used to go to the Dundee Eastern Cemetery with flowers and we always knew that was for a child who had died and who was in the burial ground.
“But my dad had no money for a grave because it was just after the war and there was not much money about.
“It is a shame that they are referred to as poor graves or paupers’ graves. People worked hard but there wasn’t much money about for anything.
“It turned out that the child was two years old and was my dad’s wee brother.
“He tried twice to have a headstone erected when he could afford it but the town council would not allow it as you could not have something for an individual.
“He told us that the grave was in a strip of ground near the cherry trees.”
The deceased were buried three to a lair which is still the case to this day. Council officials say it could cause offence to relatives of the other deceased if only one name was on a gravestone.
Sandra and Valerie, 64, from Marryat Street, had been researching their family tree and found out that there are five members of their family buried in unmarked graves – three adults and two babies.
Sandra added: “We were researching our family tree and ancestry.
“Valerie has put in a lot of work and done a really good job to discover five members of our family are there.
“We only discovered that in the last couple of years.
“When we saw that there is a lovely stone commemorating the unmarked graves with dates at the other side of the cemetery, near Aldi, we went to Dundee City Council and asked about something to mark the others at the Old Craigie Road side.
“We actually think there are about four different areas with unmarked graves in the cemetery.
“It has taken about a year to have the ground laid and the stone put up, then the plaque was attached just last week.
“The council people at the cemetery would not take any money that we offered and said it was part of their budget.
“So Valerie and myself and our cousin Linda McNaughton, from Fintry, bought vases to put on the new stone and one at the other. It was quite an emotional moment when I saw the plaque.
“Valerie had mentioned it online and by the time we had laid the flowers there were 50 messages and ‘likes’ on her mobile.
“By the time we got out of the cemetery there were more than a hundred. People were saying it was fabulous and people with stillborn babies were sending us messages.”
Valerie, who worked for DC Thomson for 37 years, said: “We just want people to know it’s there.
“This all came about when I was doing our family tree over a number of years and discovered five members of our family that we know of who are on that side of the burial ground.”