"I remember it clear as anything, because I'd just started here myself. New Year's Eve and bitter cold, snowing, you know. Nasty night. And this girl, not much older than I was myself at the time, came staggering up the front steps. Well, she wasn't the first. We took her in, and she had the baby within the hour. And she was dead in another hour."
-- Mrs. Cole, speaking in Dumbledore's memory (HBP13)
Shortly after Mrs. Cole takes the job at the London orphanage, Merope Gaunt appears on the doorstep on a snowy New Year’s Eve, gives birth to a baby boy, then dies within an hour. Cole was a teenager at the time.