A grieving widow who went to visit her deceased husband’s grave was left in tears after seeing it covered by a 5 foot pile of soil excavated from a nearby plot.
Roy Thompson, a retired plumber and father of five, was buried at Southern Cemetery in Chorlton on March 10 after dying of cancer at the age of 88.
Although no tombstone had yet been erected, relatives left flowers and other memories of his life on the site.
But when family members, including his surviving wife Beverley, showed up Thursday morning, they found that the decorations had been removed and replaced by a huge mound of earth.
They said the sight left Beverley, who was there to celebrate her birthday with her husband, crying and in shock.
The council has admitted that grave diggers sometimes pile up soil on existing grounds, but insists that staff do their ‘utmost to respect nearby graves’.
Thompson’s son Anthony, 55, from London, told MEN: ‘It’s quite insensitive and quite disrespectful. They just assume that no one will show up.
‘There are memorabilia and flowers that have just been moved to another grave.
‘My father is buried under the mound, but the flowers and the nameplate are located in front of another plot, which gives the impression that my father is buried there.
‘Anyone who visits my father who did not attend the funeral would think that this is where he is laid to rest. It is very disappointing and annoying. The ground could have been laid somewhere else ‘.
The family says they complained at the Southern Cemetery office, but reports that they were told what had happened was “legal and commonplace”.
But Anthony added: ‘It’s not a question of it being legal. I think it is disrespectful and insensitive. “
Roy’s niece Donna Morris said his widow, who had been with him for more than 30 years, was left “very tearful”. She had come to celebrate her 75th birthday with him.
She continued: ‘It’s her birthday and she would be with him and that’s what we’ve found. The flowers have just been moved to another grave.
‘It begs for faith. We have come to sing and to pray, and that is what happened. ‘
A Manchester City Council spokesman said: ‘The Council’s mourning service team is doing its utmost to respect nearby graves when conducting excavations.
‘In some cases, excavated soil is placed on adjacent graves during this process, but the staff performs their duty with care at all times and does their best not to disturb the original burial site.’
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