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Churchyard Exhumation in 1935

Sherington Churchyard

On Friday Feb 15th, 1935, the body of Mrs Margaret Elizabeth West was exhumed from her 5 week old, Sherington grave - all because of the cruel gossip rife in Sherington and Newport Pagnell at this time. It would appear that poor Mrs West had been poorly for a very long lime, a long and debillitating illness. During this illness, Mr Henry West had found solace in the comfort of another lady, who was unknown to his wife.

Grave headstone

On the death of Mrs West, Mr West promptly took his new lady love up west and brought her a diamond ring to show his gratitude and to prove that his intentions were entirely honest. This, the Gossips thought, was most unseemly and fuelled their fears that Mr. West may have helped his ailing wife on her way to the hereafter The Gossips then agitated the local constabulary to such an extent, that the chief constable of Newport had to take some sort of steps to quell this Gossip. Also he must have had some doubts in his own and his local constables' minds that there may have been some truth in the rumours. So he applied to the Home Office, for an exhumation order. Duly, with an officer from the Home Office, the chief constable, several minor officers of the law and reporters from the local press, armed with candles and lanterns for them to write their notes by. In the dead of night, poor old Mrs West's body was exhumed.


Mr West in the meantime, being a simple, honest law abiding citizen of Newport could not understand what was going on. He kept asking questions, "What's it all about, I am innocent of any wrong doing me'lud."

And that is exactly how it was. It would appear that Mrs West had died of natural causes.

If you would like to read a fuller account of this incident please purchase, from Sherington Historical Society, a copy of the booklet entitled "The Sherington Murder & Cruel Gossip" for a very modest fee. See the SHS Shop.


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Latest Revision: 24 October 2007