Children’s Memorials and Ornamentation

Should you be in the tragic situation of losing a child, there is now some comfort in that cemeteries are a lot more flexible in the type of memorials and ornamentation that are allowed on children’s graves.

Gone are the rigid ruletraingraves of days gone by when the only indication that a headstone was that of a child was the inscription indicating age and a possible symbol of a cherub. Nowadays memorials often come in the shape of teddy bears and stars, we can also offer unusual design gravestones including a piece of a jigsaw puzzle or a children’s television or story book character. There is no need to consider just a general headstone, as memorials can also be made in the shape of cars, trains and butterflies to name a few.

In cemeteries where kerbsets are allowed, coloured chippings can be added allowing extra space at which you can place extra ornamentation, vases, memorial plaques, the child’s toys or windmills.

There is an almost unlimited range of symbols that can be etched onto children’s gravestones. Winnie the Pooh characters are common, as are Thomas the Tank Engine and Fairies. However it also possible to etch or carve favourite cartoon characters or your childs’ preferred toy onto gravestones, or a photograph or laser etching of your precious son or daughter.

When it comes to inscriptions, ‘in the arms of angels’ and ‘held for a moment, loved for a lifetime’ are two examples of what can be used on children’s and babies headstones. It is becoming increasingly common to see more brightly coloured lettering on children’s memorials. Often families find comfort in making a gravestone colourful and very personal, as you do not want to visit the cemetery and spend a lifetime of sadness visiting a grave; Instead you want to think of the precious moments you shared and what life could and would have been like if your precious baby or child had lived.

At Sarsfield Memorials we provide a range of children’s headstones and can offer advice on inscriptions and ornamentation. We endeavour to guide parents with our expert knowledge, while always being compassionate and attentive to their wishes. A customer who we have had the honour of helping at this very distressing time said to us ‘On that first time we saw the gravestone we cried with sadness, then we saw the beauty within the stone and it made us smile.’ We like to think that through your grief we can help you and your family smile again, by working with you to produce a special memorial that reflects the precious time you all shared together






You will always see a final drawing showing the memorial before we carry out the work, this gives you time to reflect before the final gravestone is made and lettered. All our memorials are made out of the finest quality materials and fitted to NAMM standard. If you require further information or just an informal chat please contact us.


Religious Ornamentation on Gravestones

It has always been a common practice for religious ornamentation to be added to gravestones and although it is not as common nowadays as in Victorian times, the practice is far from being a thing of the past.

Older graves of people who held strong religious beliefs are often symbolised by carvings of the Virgin Mary or Jesus Christ. Bibles would be used too, but usually these were reserved for those who had held pastoral positions or taught in Sunday schools.

Eucharists, representing the body and blood of Christ, are often to be seen on the headstones of priests and nuns. It is also common to see rosaries on the headstones of devout Catholics. Strong faith is represented too by hands clasped in prayer and a woman holding the cross.

In modern times, Christianity is more likely to be represented by angels who guide the soul to heaven. If the angel is blowing a trumpet, it is signifies the Resurrection and call to the Day of Judgement. Doves are another common religious ornamentation in modern times. These birds are the messengers of God and symbols of the Holy Spirit, which can also be reflected by winged wheels.

The popularity of angels and doves today doesn’t mean other religious figures are disappearing altogether and saints, crosses, The Sacred Heart and Our Lady  can still be found on newer headstones.

angel praying gravestone

There are also more subtle ways that headstone ornaments show the ending of this life and passage to heaven, which was often shown by arches in older times. Gates is one way that this is represented but chariots are another way of demonstrating the journey to everlasting life. Heaven itself is represented by angels in clouds.

Children’s graves are often decorated with cherubs, while an angel weeping is also a common way of showing an untimely death. Rose buds are often white in colour for virginity and purity. Birds in flight, denoting winged souls, are often seen on the graves of children and show the divine mission and eternal life.

Non Christian religious symbols include the Megan Dawid on Jewish gravestones and a crescent with moon for headstones of those of the Islamic faith. Buddhist memorials are often decorated with Shih Tzus, which literally translate as ‘lion dog.’

At Sarsfield Memorials we provide a wide range of religious ornamentation for gravestones and examples of what we offer can be viewed here. Please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your requirements.