A CHURCH has covered up a gravestone bearing a “deeply offensive” inscription.

Controversial music hall singer G.H. Elliott, who began performing in blackface in the early 1900s, is buried in St Margaret’s churchyard in Rottingdean.

His grave refers to him by his stage name, the “Chocolate Coloured C**n”.

The Argus:

St Margaret’s church wants to erase the language from the headstone, and has temporarily covered the grave with a bin bag and boarding while it tries to contact his next of kin.

The church has also covered up a second tombstone in memory of Alice Banford, who like G.H. Elliott died in 1962. The inscription refers to her as a “C**n singer and dancer”.

The Argus:

The vicar of St Margaret’s, Reverend Dr Anthony Moore, said: “I find the inscription on these two headstones deeply offensive and am sure that the vast majority of people would agree and would want it changed.

The Argus:

“Over the last few months, investigations have been underway as to the legal and other considerations around seeking a solution, not least seeking to identify and contact the next of kin.

“Meanwhile, the headstones have been temporarily covered up.”