A sad pair of FAIRS gravestones at West Grinstead

25 Jul

This was one of the photos that I took yesterday at West Grinstead, Sussex. Both the gravestones belong to my FAIRS family and I think together they paint a rather sad picture.

A sad pair of FAIRS gravestones at West Grinstead

A sad pair of FAIRS gravestones at West Grinstead

It seems sad to me on two counts, firstly the condition of the stone on the left and secondly for the story that the one on the right tells.

The stone on the left is that of my 5x great grandparents Thomas and Elizabeth FAIRS, she died first on the 10th August 1835 aged 62 and Thomas died on the 20th February 1844 aged 73. What is really sad is the condition of the gravestone. The inscription on the stone is almost gone, and there was obviously some sort of carving at the top of the stone above the inscription, but now it is too worn to be able to make out.

Fortunately the inscription has already been recorded (at least twice) so I was able to check parts of it and confirm it was the right stone, but I doubt very much whether the carving was ever recorded anywhere.

The stone on the right is for Richard FAIRS the youngest son of Thomas and Elizabeth. He died on the 6th October 1832 aged 22. Therein lies the sadness, another FAIRS family member who died at a young age. We often hear about infant mortality, but this hardly falls into that category. Of course it is too early for a death certificate, so I am unlikely to ever find out why he died so young.

What does make me smile about the whole situation is the way that both stones are leaning towards each other, almost as if making contact again. What a wonderful illustration of the sentiment so often recorded on gravestones “together again”.

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