Stories from ‘lost’ cemetery with Titanic survivors and mental asylum patients

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Hidden secrets within a 'lost' cemetery tell the stories behind thousands of graves.

Among the dead include war heroes, patients from five mental asylums, and a Titanic survivor.

A dancer who later became the muse of Picasso and a Victorian actor also lie in plots from past decades.

Some of the poorest from husband also lie in the Horton Cemetery on the B284 near Epsom, Surrey.

However, their extraordinary tales are at risk of being lost forever as a charity fights to stop the land from being developed on, writes The Mirror.

It wants to ensure their stories remain so they can take their spot in history.

The land was a burial ground between 1899 and 1955 but has been stood derelict long ago.

Shifting land has caused it to give up some of its secrets throughout the years.

A skull and other bones have been discovered after the plot was sold to a developer.

Some of the remarkable stories uncovered include comedy actor Byron Pedley, who enjoyed a long career before being admitted to Long Grove asylum in 1910.

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He was diagnosed with “confusional insanity/delirium” after receiving treatment for heart disease but died weeks after arriving at the asylum.

Beatrice Bates, consumed by grief after her war hero husband died, fell into manic depression.

Her son had her sectioned to West Park Hospital in 1933.

The mum was inoculated with the malaria parasite to induce fever and she died months later.

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This type of therapy, along with electro-convulsive shock therapy were among treatments used on some patients in the early days.

Bethany Turner, the Friends of Horton Cemetery trustee, discovered her great-great-gran Adeline Marham was sent to St Ebba's hospital in 1909.

Adeline had given birth in 1909 in a London workhouse and with no father present gave up the baby to another family.

She was admitted to the hospital on the grounds ofo "epilepsy with insanity" and died at the young age of 27 in 1915, believed to be from the malaria treatment.

Bethany says: “I went to the cemetery and it made me sick to my stomach because she is my family and you should look after your family, even in death.

"I felt powerless and desperately sad. It breaks my heart to think she was treated like that, then left in a derelict unmarked grave.”

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The cemetery was created after London County Council built five asylums to clear the capital's crowded mental homes and workhouses.

Bodies of unclaimed patients were buried in the plot.

The hospitals were sold off for housing from the 1990s while the burial ground lies in the hands of developer Marque Securities.

Former Epsom mayor Alan Carlson has raised awareness of the plot for 30 years, saying locals felt shame “about the way people have been treated after death”.

The charity hopes to be able to buy the land back and create a public garden and memorial.

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