An English family recently discovered that they had been visiting the wrong grave for more than 43 years by assuming it belonged to their late father.
According to Daily Mail, 67-year-old Sylvia Ross has regularly visited her father John Thomas Thompson’s grave at Witton Park Cemetery in Bishop Auckland since his death in 1979.
“She left flowers there to mark every birthday, Christmas, and Father’s Day,” Per Daily Mail.
“But Sylvia, along with daughter Lynette, was devastated to find out the grave was actually home to another coffin.”
The mother-daughter duo learned about their mistake when they came across a post on Facebook about a wrongly placed plaque at Witton Park Cemetery in Bishop Auckland, which was being moved by the council.
The family then realized they had been paying their respects to the wrong headstone for the last four decades.
“An investigation is now underway to discover how the mistake was made as Sylvia’s father, who died aged 51 from a heart condition, lay in an unmarked grave just two plots away.”
Speaking to the outlet, Sylvia’s 42-year-old daughter, Lynette, said:
“We’re disgusted, and my mam is heartbroken. I never met my grandad, but my mam has been visiting his grave for 43 years and is utterly devastated.”
“She’s heartbroken as she says her dad has laid there thinking not one of us cared about him, with no flowers and no visits, nothing.”
Currently, an investigation is being carried out to discover how it happened and why Sylvia’s father was buried two plots away.
The Bishop Auckland family had been visiting the grave of some Mr.Frederick Brown, who died the same year as Lynett’s grandfather.
“The blunder was only confirmed when the Brown family wanted to put up a memorial on their double plot but realized there was not enough room so contacted Durham County Council.”
“They put it on the plot we’ve been visiting my whole life and have taken flowers to every birthday, Christmas, and Father’s Day while he has actually laid there with nothing.”
“It’s just disgusting, how can they get something so simple so wrong,” said Lynette.
Initially, the cemetery was run by Wear Valley District Council but later it was handed over to Durham County Council in 2009 after becoming a unitary authority.
Following the incident, a service manager from Graham Harrison, Durham County Council, issued an apology and said,
“We are sorry for the distress this error has caused the family.”
“At the time, the cemetery would have been managed by Wear Valley District Council. Once we were made aware of the historic mistake, we carefully moved the items to the correct grave within the quickest possible time scale.”
“Although the grave has now been corrected, this does not take away from the pain the family has experienced, and we would like to reiterate our sincerest apologies for any hurt that has been caused.”
Share Your Thoughts:
What are your thoughts about this story? Let us know in the comments.
Sources: Daily Mail – Images & Featured Images Credits: North News & Pictures Ltd