DCSIMG

Church says sorry after workmen damage grave

John Davies-Allen was horrified when he visited the grave of his grandparents and mother in Thornton's Christ Church graveyard and found the headstone covered in dirt and digger tracks across the grave. John and his daughter Natasha examine the damage.  PIC BY ROB LOCK 28-8-2014

John Davies-Allen was horrified when he visited the grave of his grandparents and mother in Thornton's Christ Church graveyard and found the headstone covered in dirt and digger tracks across the grave. John and his daughter Natasha examine the damage. PIC BY ROB LOCK 28-8-2014

A Thornton man was left in tears after finding his mum’s gravestone knocked over and soil left covering her resting place.

John Davies-Allen said he was ‘devastated’ to discover the mess when he visited his late mum Marion Horsfall’s grave at Thornton Christ Church Parish Church on Tuesday.

The small headstone, in front of his grandparents’ larger stone, had been broken from the plinth it had been tilted upon and clay had been smudged onto the stone.

Mr Davies-Allen, 53, said he hadcomplained to a woman in the church office who he said had apologised and admitted that grounds maintenance staff must be responsible.

He said she had promised to raise the matter with them and ask them to put it right by today.

“I was gobsmacked when I saw it, it was in a right state,” said the father-of-one, who was diagnosed with the early stages of dementia two years ago. “I was in shock and I broke down crying.

“Soil had been dumped on my mum’s grave and it had even been bedded in usingsome sort of mini-digger - you can see the tyre tracks.

“Mum’s headstone had been cemented onto a stone at an angle but it had been ripped up and there is clay over it.

“I am so angry and upset by this. - it’s a total lack of respect.

“It can’t have been an accident and it’s as bad as being vandalised by someone outside of the church.”

Mr Davies-Allen, who lives with wife Valerie and 21-year-old daughter Natasha on Hapton Street said his mum’s ashes had been buried at the plot following her premature death aged 59 in November 1998 following a heart attack.

Church warden, Judith Murphy, said: “This has been an unfortunate incident and we assured Mr Davies-Allen that it would be rectified as soon as possible.

“We are very sorry for any upset caused.”

 

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