The Hunnaball Memorials team recently worked on something special commemorating former residents of The Jane Walker Hospital, based in Nayland.

Formerly known as the East Anglian Sanatorium, the hospital became a residential facility for those with mild to severe learning difficulties from the late 1950s, until its closure in 1991. Within that time, it was not uncommon for such individuals to live away from their families in supported care and in some cases, would spend the rest of their lives there, looked after by nurses and hospital staff, oftentimes, sadly, without visits from relatives.

Many former residents of The Jane Walker Hospital, after they passed away, were buried in nearby Nayland Cemetery, where their graves are marked with small iron crosses. However, these have become worn, battered and warped over time with, in many cases, the names of the deceased no longer legible.

A fundraising campaign spearheaded by former hospital nurses and colleagues, has seen plans for the creation and installation of a more fitting monument realised, one that would properly mark and honour the lives of the residents to whose care they were so dedicated.

The Hunnaball Family Funeral Group were proud to assist in what become known as ‘The Iron Cross’ project, creating a beautiful new memorial stone to be installed within the Nayland Cemetery, bearing the engraved names of the former residents buried nearby.

The memorial will serve, for years to come, as a lasting and poignant tribute to a group of people that, at the time, were often marginalised or ‘forgotten’ – both ensuring their lives are now remembered and highlighting the level of love and compassionate care the Jane Walker Hospital staff felt towards them.

The new headstone was recently fitted by Warren, Dean and Adam from our expert Memorials team and currently awaits its official unveiling in Nayland Cemetery on Thursday 18th April 2024. All are welcome to attend the ceremony at 2:00pm and to visit the memorial for themselves; we very much hope to see you there.

More photos and footage of the memorial and its installation will be shared across the Hunnaball social media channels in due course; do make sure you’re following us for updates.

Our Memorials Team

We understand just how important a memorial headstone or monument can be to the family of someone that has passed away.

Our Memorials team, serving all Hunnaball branches across Essex and Suffolk, can offer a range of traditional and contemporary choices of headstones, and more, to create a lasting, meaningful and fitting memorial for your loved one.

Please speak to the compassionate team members in your local Hunnaball branch for guidance and to discuss your options.