Mum's joy at stranger's act of kindness in Buckingham girl’s memory

A mum has spoken of her joy after a kind stranger donated a trio of steel wrens to replace an ornamental robin that disappeared from her daughter’s grave.

By Hannah Richardson
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 5:12 pm

Julia Styles had posted on Facebook, after realising that a metal robin on her daughter Emily’s grave appeared to have been taken.

Emily, who was well known in Buckingham, died tragically from meningitis on New Year’s Day 2014, at the age of just 19.

Julia, who used to work at the Royal Latin School, moved away to the Malvern Hills with husband Peter earlier this year.

Emily's grave in Brackley Road Cemetery

But following a trip to Buckingham this week to visit Emily’s grave in Brackley Road Cemetery, Julia realised the decorative robin was no longer there.

The robin had been placed on Emily’s grave by Julia’s friend Lindsay Pollock a month or so ago.

“Lindsay and I were both in tears on Tuesday night when we realised. I’d just driven the journey back here.

"Because it’s always really lovely to visit Emily, but it’s hard as well. It’s hard coming away from Buckingham, and then, when we realised, that was really upsetting.”

Julia and Emily Styles

But the story has a happy ending,

Julia said: “I put a post up, and almost immediately all the kindness and all the lovely comments and actions kicked straight off, from people that knew Emily and many people that didn’t.

“On Emily’s stone, it says ‘Love is forever’, and it kind of just seemed to exemplify that, that people were keen to prove that love is more important than anything else.

Within hours, Toby Newman, who has a fabrication company, Fabrichine Ltd, based in Buckingham, contacted Julia, offering to provide three replacement steel wrens for Emily’s grave.

The robin that went missing from Emily's grave

Julia said: “He got in his car, he drove to Lindsay’s house he delivered them within hours of the conversations – just somebody that just got on with it.

“I don’t want to say that my faith in human nature was restored, because I do try very hard to see the good in everybody and in everything, and that’s how i brought my girls up.

“But it can be very difficult when not nice things happen, to pick yourself up from that.

“So it was just so absolutely joyous really, to just be reminded that love is so much more powerful than selfishness and greed or avarice, or whatever you want to call it really, other people thinking they can take things that don’t really belong to them – that actually giving is much nicer than anything, isn’t it?

The wrens supplied by Toby Kingdoga Newman

“His act of kindness really made us all feel really happy, and it’s very Emily as well, because that’s how she was, really kind.

“Because life is busy, isn’t it, and we’ve all got our own stuff, and for somebody to just stop the stuff they’ve got to do, to take the time out to do something so very kind, it’s awesome.”

Julia has not yet seen the wrens in person yet but will do so when she visits Buckingham again later this month.