Author Topic: Clara COY, please help solve a mystery  (Read 611 times)

Offline Dulciebun

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Clara COY, please help solve a mystery
« on: Thursday 05 March 20 16:18 GMT (UK) »
Seeking any information to explain why a grave for "Clara COY" should be in an overgrown churchyard at the back of a John Lewis store in Chichester.

There's a fairly new retail park on the eastern edge of Chichester, West Sussex. I pulled my car into the overflow car-park at the back and parked in the far corner. Got out and was astonished to see a standing gravestone right up against the new kerb installed by the builders who'd made the shopping centre. It seemed to have survived because it was almost underneath a tree they'd decided not to dig out.

I looked beyond the gravestone and found some tangled wasteland and some other neglected graves. A surreal situation - this old graveyard, invaded by a new retail park.

"Our dear mother, Clara Coy" says the stone.

Who was she? Why is she buried here? Who were her children who erected this stone?

I can't yet locate any Clara (who presumably married 'Coy') who was buried in West Sussex.
I'm estimating the date to be perhaps late 19th or early 20th century, given the age of the stone.

Possibly associated with a 'Charles', given some of the other wording.

Can you help shed any light?
Thank you

Dulciebun
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Offline stanmapstone

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Offline CaroleW

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Re: Clara COY, please help solve a mystery
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 05 March 20 17:08 GMT (UK) »
Does the wording indicate she is actually buried there as many stones often contain names of people not actually in the grave but who have a connection to those buried there.

There is an 1884 death for a Charles Coy in Eastbourne
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Offline chempat

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Re: Clara COY, please help solve a mystery
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 05 March 20 17:31 GMT (UK) »
Free bmd has no deaths for any Clara Coy from 1850 to 1920....

Offline Dulciebun

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Re: Clara COY, please help solve a mystery
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 05 March 20 18:09 GMT (UK) »
Does the wording indicate she is actually buried there as many stones often contain names of people not actually in the grave but who have a connection to those buried there.

There is an 1884 death for a Charles Coy in Eastbourne

Hi Carole, yes I agree, sometimes you get gravestones with no burial - however my memory says that in this case there was a grave-shape still visible, marked out with thin stone blocks all around it, and I felt the ground had been disturbed some time in the past (it was now full of tree-roots), so I am thinking for the moment that it was an actual burial.
Dx
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Offline Dulciebun

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Re: Clara COY, please help solve a mystery
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 05 March 20 18:13 GMT (UK) »
Free bmd has no deaths for any Clara Coy from 1850 to 1920....

Chempat, thank you... I've been busy digging out my scribbled notes and it appears that there was a date of death on the stone for Clara - 14 .5. 1916, the 5 may be wrong but the 1916 is definitely correct - so this gives us hope!  I'm wondering if it could have been McCOY or MacCOY, because the Irish sometimes shorten their names to disguise their Irishness (I'm half Irish)...

Could be a war casualty? Or people who died here but belonged elsewhere?
Or Clara was a middle name?

I'm sure it said Charles too, I remembered the 'CC' in both cases.

Any further thoughts?

Dulciebun
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Offline Dulciebun

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Re: Clara COY, please help solve a mystery
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 05 March 20 18:16 GMT (UK) »
More things from my scribbled notes!!

The Charles (I'm pretty sure 'Coy') who was mentioned there, died in December 1917.

A husband?
Son?
Soldier?
Naval man? Lots of Navy people in Sussex..

D x

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Offline ..claire..

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Re: Clara COY, please help solve a mystery
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 05 March 20 18:18 GMT (UK) »
There was a Clara Cox that died in 1916, 2nd Qtr. aged 57 registered in the Chichester district

Wonder if that could be her
Luce, Tippett , Thomson, Dolling ~ Devon & Cornwall
Mocquard ~ London, France
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Offline Dulciebun

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Re: Clara COY, please help solve a mystery
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 05 March 20 18:20 GMT (UK) »
See https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=17&lat=50.84084&lon=-0.75809&layers=168&right=BingHyb

Stan

Hi Stan, it gobbled my reply so I'm trying again...
Thank you for this! I can see a whole complex of burial grounds here, I hadn't realised.

If I could pinpoint the place where the grave was, maybe we could establish which chapel or church it was linked to - and there might be records? I will try to zoom in and see what I can spot.
Bless you
D
Burgi (Zurich, Wintertur)
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