The “Old” Graveyard

Surrounding the church is the “old” graveyard, which probably dates back to its foundation.  It contains a mediaeval grave marker which may date as far back as the 13th century.   These grave markers are a feature of East Kent particularly in the Hythe area.

War grave in Stone cum Ebony churchyardThis churchyard, formerly grazed by sheep, was closed to further burials by Order of the Privy Council with effect from 5th January 1995 and the area is now maintained by Ashford Borough Council.

The village lost a number of men in both the First and Second World Wars, but there is only one War Grave in the graveyard, that of Sergeant Pilot Donald Leslie Baker, who was serving with the Royal Air Force, when he was killed on 21st January 1943.

Also buried in the graveyard was Rachel Jean Denne, a registered nurse who died on 17th June 1944.  She was a victim of a bomb attack at St Mary Abbots Hospital where she worked.  It was a Pilotless Air Craft (PAC) – victims that day were five nurses, six children and seven other patients.

Not buried at Stone, but his name has been added to his grandparents’ gravestone:  Roy Cromwell Secundus Foster.  He was a Japanese prisoner of war and has his name on a memorial in Kranji.  These POWs were often transported on ships to be used as forced labour.  Roy was on the Hofuku Maru, which sailed from Singapore – it had to stop at port for a while and the POWs were on board for nearly three months.  These ships were bombed by the Allies not knowing their ‘cargo’.  The Hofuku Maru was bombed on 21st September 1944 by American planes and was sunk with only 247 survivors.   Putting his name on his grandparents’ grave was often a way to have a memorial back home.

The “New” Graveyard

To the west of the “old” graveyard behind Tilmenden, the “new” graveyard is to be found on  land donated to the church for this purpose in 1948.   In addition to graves, there is an area where ashes are interred.

The plan of the area where ashes are interred (towards the rear of the graveyard on the bank) can be accessed here.   If you are searching for a particular grave in this graveyard, please contact a churchwarden, who can consult the church’s records.

There is unrestricted access to both graveyards should you wish to visit.

Anyone who is resident in the Parish of Stone-in-Oxney, is on the Church Electoral Roll or dies in the Parish is entitled to be buried (or their ashes interred) in this graveyard.   Parish means the ecclesiastical Parish not the civil Parish of Stone-cum-Ebony.

The Parochial Church Council has revised the policy for permitting the burial of other individuals, namely, if they were formerly permanently resident in the Parish, or if they habitually attended Stone Church or if they have a strong family connection in the churchyard through burial of a close family member.

Anyone who wishes to avoid uncertainty may make a request for permission for burial in the churchyard in advance free of charge by applying to the Parochial Church Council by using a newly established ‘Prior notice of permission for churchyard burial’ procedure.   The Parochial Church Council will consider all applications and a Register of Permissions will record all approvals.

If anyone wishes to reserve a specific burial plot in the graveyard, this can only be done by making an application for a Faculty from the Diocesan authorities.   There is a charge for making a Faculty.

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact the Team Rector, Rev’d Lindsay Hammond or a Churchwarden.