Once again our hearts are broken at the latest story of one of our 1255

We received this email in connection to 1 of only 7 headstones we have and what a sad story has to be told


Hiya,You can all be very proud of all the work you are doing with the cemetery.

It was when Googling during COVID times that we came across your group and were excited to see the photos.We were fortunate to visit Hartwood in 2018 but totally missed the cemetery!

Even more frustrating when CATHERINE THOMSON CRERAR Lair 612 is Darren's Great Grandmother and so special that the headstone is there.Her name is on the family headstone at Carnwath, so we are curious to know if you have any details of who put the headstone at Hartwood or how it came about.

You see there seems to have been a family upset as our Pop (John Weir Crerar), Catherine's youngest son, was apparently told as a young boy that she had died.

Unfortunately to make matters worse, he just missed her real death when he visited in 1950 & supposedly was only told the truth then.

So, we thought, knowing Pop, could it be possible that maybe he put the In Memory Of headstone at Hartwood?

We did visit Motherwell in 2018 and were able to read Catherine's Hartwood records. Such a sad story and for such a long time to be there. All though it does not mention it in her records, family wondered if maybe she suffered post-natal depression from another pregnancy which was stillborn.

We didn't see any visitation lists either, so not sure who kept in touch with her all that time.Thank you again for caring.We hope to visit again soon.


Follow up email 

Darren’s grandfather John and his brother Daniel (Catherine’s sons) put the headstone at Hartwood, as her husband Daniel died in 1946.I believe Catherine found some contentment in her situation and think she would have been very proud of her sons and all the following generations.

Imagining the grave with the snowdrops blooming as you say sounds very comforting and lovely.If you get a chance a photo would be much appreciated to share with the family, namely my father-in-law Donald (Catherine’s grandson).

My research thus far has not ventured too much into Catherine’s family per se. But of course my curiosity is piqued.The basic circumstances of life over the past few years have hindered delving much more into all things ancestry.

However, on our remarkable journey back in 2018, we made many amazing finds and lots of photos.For one, we were drawn to stay in accommodation which we found to actually be really nearby most of Catherine & Daniel’s homes.All are still lived in. And we were made very welcome by all the residents when we visited.

Westsidewood where Catherine was born and where the family worked and lived is a very stately home.Then Cleugh Farm at Wilsontown now with The Bothy as a B & B.And Catherine’s last real home Newmains Cottage, which actually is still very much as it was back then but with some additions. (Newmains House/Farm is just ruins)Newmains Cottage though is now named Dippoolbank.In the past the gardens have often been part of the Scottish Open Garden scheme as you can see from the attached link.



Perhaps we can aim to purchase something from Dippoolbank to contribute to the gardens at Hartwood when we are able to come to the UK again.

When we read through the patient record books at Motherwell it was very emotional. They were quite detailed at the beginning from her admission and slowly over the years writings became less and less.We feel for all involved in the mental health field and the patients, then and now. Many amazing people giving so much of themselves to help others in not simple circumstances.On reading we understood it to be that Catherine did not go back home at any time. But with the infrequent documentation during the years of both of the Wars, we wondered.Mainly with that the eldest son, Daniel, had put his next of kin as his mother, so Catherine of Newmains Cottage, on his WW1 application in 1916.


Sadly, Motherwell was not able to find the last few records for Catherine prior to her death.

It is important to talk freely and be open about our past and share the knowledge to understand and begin the healing where it is needed.

Kind Regards,Cathy & Darren Crerar