‘About 100’ paupers’ burials a year



Burials commonly known as paupers’ funerals are _far more prevalent than some may think, with _more than 100 yearly.

These burials occur when no one comes forth to claim a body, or the family cannot pay, or simply don’t want to pay, leaving bodies languishing in the morgue or funeral homes for months.

Eventually, it falls to the Government, through the Welfare Department, to take responsibility for the no-frills burial, in contrast with the thousands for the cheapest service or tens of thousands for the more lavish affairs.

The plight of the unfortunate dead came to light in the case of Keith Brathwaite, who died in November and whose body was in storage at the hospital all these months, creating the mystery whether he had been given a final resting place. Reports are that the Welfare Department may have become involved but a record of Brathwaite’s mortal remains being despatched from this Earth has not been revealed.

Tudor’s Funeral Home has a Government contract to bury “paupers” with funeral director Sheryl Ann Tudor saying it was a regular occurrence.

“On average, we do about 100 of those burials a year. For whatever reason, some people cannot bury their dead, though sometimes it’s a case where you can’t _find the next of kin. _This is rarer.

“With these types of burials, there is a different type of coffin used and there are no viewings or flowers, though a priest performs the burial rites. Any family willing to attend can come although we don’t allow large groups,” she said.

In addition to paupers’ burials, there are also bodies which are stored for extended periods of time after being left unclaimed.

Tisha Smith, the administrative assistant at Two Sons Funeral Home, contracted to collect and store bodies as a result of fatalities in Barbados, said family issues were the main reason a body could remain in storage for as many as six months. (CA)

Read the full story in today’s WEEKEND NATION newspaper or read the e-paper online.



  1. Even the dead getting spiteful treatment, people really cruel for truth it’s a shame that family disrespect their dead, it should be a crime. The government should be able to charge the families that can afford to bury their dead but fail to, disputes are irrelevant when death occurs, pay up.


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