From time to time I have read in the Gazette about the neglected Brookside Avenue cemetery in Rustington and the efforts of Mary Taylor and Sue Sula to get something done about it.
It’s a strange story, which gives rise to lots of questions.
I don’t understand how such a recent graveyard (1926 to 1952) could be deconsecrated, ‘bulldozed’ and used as a tip.
Did the perpetrators of these acts simply not care that there were people buried here? And where have all those headstones gone?
When I saw there was to be an open day, I decided to go and see for myself what the site looked like and offer help.
I discovered that all the vegetation had already been cleared, but help was now needed unearthing the graves. So I set to. It was exciting – and also moving – uncovering the inscriptions and reading the names of those buried there, and I hope more families can be found to come and visit their relatives’ graves.
There is still a lot to be done, so more help is needed.
I would like to thank Sue Sula and everyone else who has already helped in this amazing and worthwhile project, and I would encourage others to be part of creating the Brookside Memorial Gardens, which will be enjoyed by both present and future generations.