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How truth was able to come out

1967:

Mortonhall crematorium opens. The practice of telling parents there are no ashes from cremated babies persists for decades.

May 2011: A new bereavement services manager, Charlie Holt, takes over. He challenges the long-standing presumption at the crematorium that there are no ashes from baby remains. A metal tray to contain the ashes of the baby is reintroduced, with positive results.

Oct 2012: Lesley Winton, commissioned by Sands Lothian to write a book to explain its work, learns that parents had received their babies' ashes from the privately run Seafield and Warriston crematoriums in Edinburgh while other parents, whose babies were cremated at the council-run Mortonhall, had not.

Oct 2012: Dorothy Maitland, operations manager at Sands and a parent whose baby daughter was cremated at Mortonhall in 1986, meets Mr Holt who tells her he had "changed things" so parents could receive remains of their children. Ms Maitland, who had been told there were no remains of her baby daughter, Kaelen, is informed records indicate they were in fact interred in the Garden of Rest at Mortonhall.

Dec 5, 2012: Allegations that ashes of miscarried, stillborn and neonatal babies were "cruelly dumped in a mass unmarked grave at a city crematorium" are reported in the media. The council issues an apology.

Dec 10, 2012: City of Edinburgh Council launches its own inquiry, led by senior officer Mike Rosendale.

Jan 2013: Mr Rosendale's limited fact-finding investigation is completed and it is acknowledged that an independent person should head a more in-depth probe. Dame Elish Angiolini is appointed to carry out the probe into the practices at Mortonhall Crematorium.

Apr 2013: The inquiry begins following a delay caused by a police probe. A BBC documentary identifies apparent inconsistencies in practices in crematoriums.

May 2013: The Infant Cremation Commission, set up by the Scottish Government and headed by Lord Bonomy, begins work. It is charged with reviewing policies, guidance, practice and legislation in Scotland in relation to the handling of all recoverable remains following the cremation of babies and infants.

Apr 14, 2014: The report is delivered to the council. The authority is criticised for not publishing it immediately.

Apr 30, 2014: Dame Angiolini's report is published and copies are couriered to affected families. Over the course of her inquiry, the number of cases grew from 130 at the outset to 253.

Contextual targeting label: 
Families

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