01 December 2009

Marigold Churchill, Kensal Green cemetery, London.

In the autumn of 1908 Winston Churchill, then a rising Liberal politician, married Clementine Hozier, granddaughter of the 10th Earl of Airlie. Their marriage was to prove a long and happy one Winston and Clementine's first child, Diana, was born in 1909. The Churchill's' second child and only son, Randolph, was born in 1911. He was exceptionally handsome and his father was very ambitious for him. In 1918 Clementine Churchill gave birth to a third child, a daughter named Marigold. In 1921, shortly after the deaths of both Clementine's brother and Winston's mother, Marigold contracted septicaemia whilst on a seaside holiday with the children's' governess. She is buried in this simple grave in a quiet corner of Kensal Green cemetery, London. Their fourth Child Sarah was born in 1914 and in September 1921 Churchill's' fifth and last child, Mary, was born.

The first time I found the grave of Marigold it was by accident. It was not included in any of the cemetery tours and there is little information about it. I was taking a photo of something else and in trying to capture it all in the viewfinder I stumbled backwards. I felt like there was someone behind me and turned around and stared.....there she was. I read it, re-read it, took a couple of shots and afterwards had a quite word with someone in the know who confirmed that this was indeed Churchill's daughter.
I always wondered why Marigold was not buried with the rest of the Churchill's, it seems so sad that she's there alone. Maybe as she was only three years old they assumed other family would also be buried in the plot. The cemetery at the time had many Royal and notable people interred there so they obviously thought it was ‘the' place to be. Over the years obviously other arrangements were decided on for the Churchill's and sadly Marigold appears to have been forgotten to a certain extent.

I got talking to a lady recently who had worked at Kensal Green. I mentioned about Marigold and she told me that the reason Kensal Green had been chosen was that it was easy to get to for the Churchill's from Westminster and that Clementine Churchill had been well enough to visit their daughter about a year after she died. Around this time two further plots were purchased with the idea that Winston and Clementine would also be buried there with Marigold but it never actually happened after Churchill's career took off. Well that's one mystery solved!

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