Fakenham headstone tribute to twin eases 63 years of heartache

MICHAEL MOAT FAKENHAM           ' 'Michael Moat at the graveside of his twin brother
MICHAEL MOAT FAKENHAM ' 'Michael Moat at the graveside of his twin brother
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A twin brother who died at three-months-old has finally been given a headstone – 63 years after his death.

David Moat died of gastroenteritis in 1951 and was buried in an unmarked plot in Fakenham’s Queen’s Road cemetery.

His twin brother Michael knew he was buried there, but he only discovered the exact spot where his brother laid after approaching the town council for help.

Now Michael has funded a headstone to mark David’s grave once and for all – and has even had his own name engraved so he can be buried with him when he passes away.

Michael said: “I’m proud I have finally been able to give David the headstone he deserves. He will always be part of me no matter what.

“I have also had my own name engraved on the headstone so we can be reunited again one day.”

Michael was born eight hours after David at a cottage in Oak Road, Hempton, on February 26, 1951.

“David was only three months old when he died of gastroenteritis.

“If he’d caught that today he wouldn’t have died as it’s treated so much better,” said Michael.

Being a baby himself he didn’t realise what had happened, but he remembers 
often walking past the cemetery with his father as he grew up.

“My dad would say ‘your brother is buried in there’ but he would never go into the cemetery,” said Michael. “My dad has passed away now but it still puzzles me why he never went in.”

Then Michael decided to find out exactly where David was buried and asked Fakenham Town Council, which is responsible for the town’s cemeteries, to point out the exact plot where he laid.

The spot was unmarked and overgrown with grass, so Michael paid the council £100 for a cross to be erected, while he saved money to pay for a proper headstone.

Michael, who grew up in Fakenham and currently lives in Swaffham, said: “I’m over the moon with it. I had wanted to move David to a bigger plot so I could be buried with him, but because of the expense I decided against it.

“I’m now going to be cremated so I can fit in the same plot, and when I pass away there will be words engraved on the headstone saying ‘at last we are together again’.”