Friday 30 October 2015

"The boy's grave" - Kentford Suffolk

"The Boy's Grave"
1949 Report

During the past 12 months or so I have twice a week had to travel by road between  Cambridge and Newmarket.

But not until I had a sport of car trouble the other day and was forced to store and I noticed the lonely grave by the crossroads just before you come into Kentford,  the grass on the mound was trimmed, the top was fenced finished with an ingenious arrangement of a withes'. at the head was a small cross made of ash and planted on top of the grave flowers were coming up. Artificial flowers were strung among the foliage looking something very real.

I was still looking at the grave when my AA man friend came along, he knows my old car and has more than once rendered first day so he pulled up and asked me if I was all right, "I think I an now" I told him "I was just looking at the grave it is a grave".

"Yes, that's a grave all right, he said and he told me its story.

Something more than one hundred years ago, when this part was more or less open common, a man had a flock of sheep and had a lad to look after them as they grazed
The man was a hard master and his employees were all afraid of him.
One night when the boy rounded up his flock for the night, he counted them and found them one short stop, terrified of the consequence he hanged himself from a nearby tree.
His dead body was found in the morning and so was the missing sheep closely bedded down under some bushes.

Because he had taken his own life the lad was not buried in consecrated ground but at the crossroads near the scene of the tragedy and there his grave has remained, but not neglected.

Cared For

"nobody knows quite who looks after it " my AA man told me that they say it is the gypsies"
It looks like it, i agreed "Those coloured flowers made from split wood are gypsy work "Ive seen them from door to door in Ipswich".

"Yes and the little railings round the top looks like gypsy work too, though I didn't know they were so keen on a cross."

"The boy's grave"  The AA man told me it was always called. 

There's another thing connected with the gypsies" he said they say if there are dark flowers on the grave on Derby Day at dark horse will win but if there are like flowers and a light horse will come in first.

E.M. Barraud
Daily Worker 13 July 1949