Majorie Rigby was told by the staff that her daughter would be taken to an 'incinerator' for burial.
Marjorie Rigby could never forget her firstborn daughter, who was a stillborn baby girl. The 102-year-old wondered what happened to her for 76 years until July this year when she finally got her answers and what she described as a sense of "big relief."
In September 1946, Rigby was having her first child after marrying her husband Charlie, who had fought in Italy and Africa for five years during World War II. She headed to a private nursing home to deliver their daughter, according to Manchester Evening News. After being in labor for three days, she overheard a consultant's conversation. According to BBC, he told the matron: "This baby is dead. We'll get her into hospital." Even though the child died, Rigby had to still deliver her. However, she never got to know what happened to the lifeless child. She was only told by staff that the child would be taken to an "incinerator" for burial. "I was just taken back to my room and left," she said. "No one came to talk to me and tell me how to get on with life."
Today on @BBCNWT, we meet 102 year old Marjorie Rigby from Dukinfield who, after watching our series on stillbirth, found the grave of her baby girl after 76 years.— Suzanne Hailey (@suzanne_hailey) November 10, 2022
Mum, 102, relieved to find baby's grave after 76 years https://t.co/UVPjkOk14N
Rigby, who had worked in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force in World War II, was sent home two weeks later, which was apparently the standard practice at the time.
She later had two more daughters but could never forget her oldest child. She said that every year she got a new diary at Christmas and the first date that she puts in it is September 3, which is "Laura's birthday. Every year for 70-odd years."
Finally, in 2022, after watching a show about a woman called Lilian Thorpe, who found her stillborn son's grave after 61 years, Rigby's daughter Angela set out to find her sister's grave. She researched and found the non-profit Brief Lives Remembered which did the unthinkable: they traced Laura's grave to a cemetery in Stockport and also guided the family on how to get the stillbirth certificate which meant so much to Rigby.
Majorie Rigby never thought she would find her daughter's grave https://t.co/j8d9QlwtPb— Manchester News MEN (@MENnewsdesk) November 11, 2022
They came to know that Laura had her own little coffin and had been buried with five other babies and an adult in an unmarked plot. "We told mum and we went to see the plot and just took a little bunch of flowers from the garden. The look of peace on mum's face was worth everything. It was just amazing," said Angela.
Rigby shared that she feels a "sort of peace now", adding: "It's really been a big relief to know where she is and that she was actually put in a coffin with other babies."