Burial Record for Duncan Laurence Willoughby MacDONALD

Where Died: Cowes
Age: 1
Ceremony By: Andrew Hamilton McElwee
Date of Burial: 22/7/1905
Plot: 20
Grave: 4636
Register No: 4
Registrar: Atherstone Damant
Entry No: 5167

Son of Paul MacDonald of Cowes, Engineer and Rose his Wife

Plot location mapDetailed plot mapHeadstoneOthers in this grave

Little Don

Under the trees in Plot 20 is a statue of a little boy with the inscription “ Don ”. He lies in a double grave all by himself.

Duncan Lawrence Willoughby MacDonald died on Wednesday 19 th July 1905, aged 21 months. The IW County Press of Saturday 22 nd July 1905 tells the sad story with the headline: “INFANT’S SHOCKING DEATH AT COWES”.

The Inquest, held on Thursday 20 th July at the Granville Inn, Cowes (on the corner of Bridge Road and Bernard Road – now a private residence called Granville Court), heard that at about 7 o’clock the previous evening his mother was “about to take the child out and was dressing”. Whilst she did so “she allowed the little fellow to go next door, where she thought he would be perfectly safe”.

It seems, however, that instead he went with a three-year-old child to a building site “which was some 150 yards away” and fell into a lime pit, “sustaining shocking injuries which ended fatally”.

Little Don lived with his parents, Paul and Rosa (nee Willoughby) MacDonald at 5 (at the bottom of) Stephenson Road, Cowes. His father was an engineer on the steam yacht St George and “was well known in yachting circles in the town”. At the time Tennyson Road in Cowes was being built so perhaps this may have been the building site where Little Don died?

Paul and Rosa had married in Windsor, Berkshire in 1903 and Little Don was their first, and as far as we know, only child. Despite attempts to find out how Paul and Rosa coped with their loss, no details have emerged; they did not have any more children on the Island nor, it would seem, did they remain here.

It would have become, no doubt, a place of great sadness for them.