Students hold funeral after discovering model skeleton, Arthur, was actually a real skeleton
Students hold funeral after discovering model skeleton, Arthur, was actually a real skeleton

Students at an English high school have held a funeral for their classroom model skeleton after discovering it was in fact not a model and belonged to a real person.

Haydock High School in Wigan used what they thought was a model skeleton to teach pupils about the human body for years and were shocked to discover its real origins.

The bag of bones, affectionately named Arthur, has been used countless times in art lessons by staff at Haydock High School in Wigan over the past 40 years.

But art technician Sandra Dixon recently started wondering if the skeleton was more than just a prosthetic tool and started investigating.

Students formed a guard of honour to farewell Arthur from their school. Photo: Supplied

Sandra approached a local funeral director for further testing and discovered Arthur was in fact an Indian man in his late 20s who died in the early 1900s.


It’s not known whether he travelled to the UK alive - or as a skeleton.

Now, over 100 years after he died, Arthur has had a proper burial.

Year 9 students formed a guard of honour as the coffin was driven away from the school in a hearse for the service at Rainford-based Greenacres Woodlands Burials.

The skeleton was buried in a bamboo coffin supplied free of charge by the funeral directors who also provided the hearse and bearers for the service attended by staff and students.

Bill Craddock from Haydock Funeral Service offered to supply the school with a full funeral including wicker coffin, hearse and bearers free of charge.

Keely Thompson, marketing and community liaison at Greenacre, said: “We are delighted to provide a final resting place for Arthur. It’s a beautiful place of burial.”

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