Belfast Telegraph

Woman ‘with no relatives’ shocked by grave visitors

by Fiona Rutherford

A Belfast woman got a shock when visiting her family’s grave last week, as strangers had left fresh flowers and a card featuring a south Belfast theatre.

The discovery has stirred a great yearning in Yvonne Armstrong to find the mysterious visitors as she has practically no living relatives that she knows of.

It was pure chance that Yvonne even found the grave as she was only visiting Carnmoney Cemetery to show some English guests around. “While we were there I decided to see if I could still remember where the grave of my grandparents, great grandparents etc was and I did eventually find it.

“When I saw the grave I got such a shock because there were fresh flowers and a card on it. Now fresh flowers in this graveyard are very unusual but they were in a jam jar deeply wedged in front of the metal memorial so there was no mistake in where they placed the flowers.

“The card read, ‘In loving memory from Harold and Doreen and families’.

“They must have gone to a lot of trouble to find the grave.”

The message was written on the back of a card for a show by the All Stars Dance Academy at the Stranmillis Theatre on May 29.

Yvonne’s parents died when she was little and she had no siblings. “Anyone claiming to be part of this family would be of great importance to me as well as a wonderful possibility. My father’s name was Harold so all this adds to my deeply-felt ‘wanting to know’ feeling,” she explained.

The headstone states that this is the family burial ground of Isaac Dixon of Monkstown who died in 1900.

The last time the grave was opened was on the death of Yvonne’s grandmother, Annie Surgenor (nee Dixon), in 1960. “The whereabouts of this grave is known only to me and my husband and I am only one of three remaining of this family line,” adds Yvonne.

“It is in the old parish graveyard situated across the road from the church and most of the dates are in the 1700s and 1800s,” she added.

If any reader can shed any light on who Harold and Doreen might be, they can contact Yvonne through the Community Telegraph.

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