Burial service held for Haydock High School skeleton

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Media captionSchool students bid farewell to Arthur

A burial service has been held for a school skeleton that was used in art and science classes for 40 years.

Haydock High School enlisted the help of an undertaker to arrange forensic tests on the skeleton - nicknamed Arthur.

They discovered it was likely have been one of hundreds of skeletons bought from India in the early 20th Century in a trade that was later outlawed.

A number of school pupils attended the funeral and burial service.

Image caption The skeleton had been used for 40 years

Sandra Dixon, a technician in the art department at the Haydock school, first came across the skeleton - which is missing both arms and a leg - while she was reorganising the art department.

It had been put in storage after the school replaced it with a plastic model.

"I remember thinking could this be a real skeleton," she said.

The school carried out a litmus test to see if the bones were human and after a positive result decided it needed further examination.

A forensic pathologist found the skeleton was a male aged between 25 and 30, who died about 100 yeas ago and was probably from India.

The funeral and burial service at Green Acres Woodland Burials in Rainford were provided for free.

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