Mortonhall baby ashes: 11 new cases in Edinburgh

Mortonhall Crematorium Mortonhall crematorium staff told parents there would be no ashes

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Eleven new families whose babies were cremated at Mortonhall crematorium in Edinburgh have reported their cases.

They have registered with Dame Elish Angiolini’s National Cremation Investigation.

The former Lord Advocate is also investigating a number of new cases from elsewhere in Scotland.

The national investigation follows the publication of Lord Bonomy’s report into infant cremation which recommended an urgent review of practices.

The baby ashes scandal first emerged at Mortonhall when more than 250 families discovered their children’s remains had been disposed of without their knowledge.

The practice at Mortonhall crematorium is thought to have been in place from its opening in 1967 until a change of management in 2011.

A spokeswoman for the National Cremation Investigation said: “I can confirm that 11 new cases have been submitted in relation to Edinburgh and these will be thoroughly investigated.

“There has also been a number of new cases registered with the unit from across Scotland however no official figure has yet been compiled as families continue to register.”

Willie Reid, 48, from Bathgate, chairman of the Mortonhall Action Committee and whose daughter, Donna, died at two days old in 1988, told the BBC Scotland news website: “I am not surprised more families have come forward since the publicity surrounding the Mortonhall baby ashes scandal.

“At least more people coming forward means that the government has to find answers, which only strengthens our campaign for a public inquiry.”

Parent Dorothy Maitland, who uncovered the scandal after asking staff about her baby daughter Kaelen’s ashes, told BBC Scotland news website: “I think a lot of people were waiting to see what the report said or they maybe didn’t have the courage to come forward at first.

“If it is a case of people needing answers I’m so glad they have had the courage to come forward.”

She added that she thought there would be two Edinburgh memorials, one at Mortonhall and another somewhere else in the city.

An Edinburgh city council spokesman said: “We have been contacted by the National Cremation Investigation team regarding 11 new cases they are looking into and we are providing any information that they require.”

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