Jessie Clementia Hayward, Hardley, Norfolk

Some time ago I relayed the story of Sister Jessie Clementia Hayward who left a diary describing how, while travelling abroad to nurse troops injured during the First World War, she was one of the hundreds aboard the SS Transylvania when it was torpedoed. 

I am currently putting together a trio of stories from the First World War for a quartet of events in April and felt I should go and find Sister Hayward’s final resting place. 

She is buried here, at St Margaret’s, Hardley:

The gravestones for several of the Hayward family can be found in the back left corner of the churchyard, on the other side of the church (to the right of the image below).

Jessie’s gravestone gives the dates of death of her sister, Marion Jane Hayward, her baby brother, Hylton, and herself (although you may have to take my word for it as I have limited the file sizes on this page). 

Jessie and her siblings lie next to their parents and further siblings, the headstones for some of whom are already sheltered by a large bush…

I would also like to mention the Loddon and District Local History Group here, many of whom I have had the privilege to meet. St Margaret’s is a small churchyard, but neighbouring Loddon’s Holy Trinity is certainly not. The group have gone to great efforts to survey local churchyards and post them online. There are also printed indexes in some of the churches. This is by no means the limit of their achievements, so check them out!


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