The UK & Ireland Database

Nuns pledge to honour orphans buried in mass grave

Mon 25 Sep 2017
By Tola Mbakwe

Nuns who ran an orphanage where 400 children have been discovered in a secret mass grave have promised to honour the lives of the children.

According to Herald Scotland, the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul have pledged to build a memorial for the "lost children" of Smyllum Park.

Earlier this month, new research revealed 402 children died in the care of the nuns at Smyllum Park in Lanark between 1864 and when it closed its doors in 1981.

It had previously said that 158 children died and were buried in compartments at nearby St Mary's Cemetery. Back in 2004 the nuns erected a headstone which didn't have names engraved.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is due to begin a second phase of a probe in November into physical and sexual abuse at the orphanage. There have been new calls for the investigation to include who is buried at cemetery.

The charity said it will formally honour the children once the inquiry is over.

The Daughters of Charity said: "Once the full list of names of those buried in the plots without headstones in St Mary's Cemetery has been verified, we will work with the families and their representatives on a new memorial stone naming and honouring all the children buried there."

The Daughters of Charity said in a statement that it's fully cooperating with the inquiry.

The decision for a memorial has been welcomed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

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