The desirability of providing some kind of memorial to mark the situation of every grave was recently emphasized by a deplorable incident at Badsey. On July 15th the sexton was engaged in digging a grave when he unexpectedly came upon a coffin bearing the name of a woman who was buried so recently as 1884. Although the grave was thus only 25 years old, there was nothing at all to indicate or even suggest its existence. A similar fate is probably reserved for many of those graves which have now nothing but a neglected mound to mark them. To meet the case of those who desire to safeguard from disturbance the resting-places of the dead, but who cannot afford an ordinary tombstone, the Vicar has decided to allow the erection of small oak or iron crosses. In each case application must be made to the Vicar before any such cross is introduced into the churchyard, and under no circumstances will the erection of memorials of any other material (e.g. earthenware) be permitted. The fee will be 2s. 6d. as specified in the Table of Fees approved by the Bishop of the Diocese.
There was obviously a name plate on the coffin at the time for the sexton to know it was a burial from 1884. Peter Stewart, who conducted the survey of the churchyard and mapped all the graves says there are two possibilities for the mystery female:
- Mary Ann Floyd (née Tandy), buried 29/01/1884, aged 26. Mary Ann married Wilson Floyd on the 30th March 1883 in Badsey. She gave birth to a daughter, Mary Ann, early in 1884, and died either in childbirth or shortly afterwards. The baby, Mary Ann (birth and death registered as Mary Ann, burial recorded as Ann), died in 1886 and was also buried in Badsey churchyard. The baby may or may not have been interred in the same grave but, if she was, one would have expected the sexton to mention finding the baby.
- Ann Butler (née Sharp), buried 29/06/1884, aged 65, who had married widower Thomas Butler at Badsey on 30th August 1874. His first wife, Phoebe, is buried in Bengeworth cemetery but there is no headstone.
Unfortunately the burial map at the time was very scrappy, so it is not possible to confirm which woman it was.