Portrait mystery linked to Kenilworth cemetery

Left: Hazel Hawkswell with the portrait of 'Grandma Grove'. Right: The note found with the portrait which inspired Hazel to find out more.
Left: Hazel Hawkswell with the portrait of 'Grandma Grove'. Right: The note found with the portrait which inspired Hazel to find out more.

A woman is appealing to people in Kenilworth for help in solving the mystery of a portrait she discovered unexpectedly last year.

Hazel Hawkswell, from Surrey, has been trying to work out who the woman is in the portrait, and who her family is so it can be reunited with them.

And a note Hazel found on the back of the portrait has linked it to a Kenilworth cemetery - which has led to her appeal to the town for help.

Hazel said: "I've been trying to find out more about her for around a year now, but I haven't got closer to sourcing anything more concrete about her."

Hazel found the portrait in strange circumstances.

She used to work in a Co-op funeral home, which was having a clear out in 2014 before a refurbishment. Workers were going to throw a large mirror into a skip, but Hazel said she would have it instead.

It was in her home for around three years, until it accidentally fell off the wall. As it fell, the portrait of the woman was revealed to have been behind the mirror the whole time.

She found a note on the back of the portrait which suggests the woman's husband is buried in a Kenilworth cemetery, although it is unclear which cemetery it is.

It read: "Grandma Grove, who built Grove farm for George Grove Parriss (Pannis?) Eva's father Her photo is in this frame behind the glass and a [illegible] Her husband's tomb is in Kenilworth Churchyard."

Hazel said: "I instantly wanted to know a little more about her, so I went onto the Ancestry website."

She found out that George Grove Parris was the name of Grandma Grove's son.

But Hazel has now reached a dead end, and is hoping people in Kenilworth might know more.

Hazel wants to reunite the portrait with the family of the woman, or return it to her husband's tomb. But it is not clear which cemetery 'Kenilworth Churchyard' might refer to.

She said: "I'd like her not just be sat there. It's a bit sad really - she's not where she should be."

Anyone who might be able to help Hazel can contact her on 07804 709873 or can email her at hawkhaze@gmail.com