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Gravestone For Joseph Merrick’s Mother

May 11, 2014

A new memorial headstone has been unveiled on the Leicester grave of the mother of Joseph Merrick, who became known as the Elephant Man.

The family of Mary Jane Merrick were unable to afford a headstone when she died in 1873.

A group dedicated to keeping her son’s memory alive organised the event at Welford Road Cemetery.

Joseph Merrick died in 1890 at the age of 27. His name has also been inscribed on the gravestone.

Merrick, who suffered from a rare bone disorder, spent four years at a Leicester workhouse before he persuaded a showman to exhibit him.

He was dubbed the Elephant Man before being rescued by London surgeon Frederick Treves.

Merrick’s bones are stored at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Jeanette Sitton, founder of the Friends of Joseph Merrick, said: “This gravestone will finally allow floral tributes to be laid in a cemetery, in his name, on his mother’s grave.”

The group says it is committed to educating people across the world about Merrick’s life and legacy of courage, to increase tolerance of people with disabilities.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2014 5:28 pm

    Reblogged this on vicmart009 and commented:
    First they came for the Disabled, I did not speak out – because I was not Disabled .
    Then they came for the Socialists , I did not speak out — because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Muslims , I did not speak out — because I was not a Muslim.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for unemployed Welsh , I did not speak out – because I am not unemployed or Welsh .
    Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.
    Copyright VM Hunt 2014.

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  1. The Gravestone Girls | Old Bones Genealogy of New England

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