Funeral directors apologises to grieving relatives over ‘unacceptable’ grave site mess

Claire Moffat and her mother Dawn Lifsey at the grave site.
Claire Moffat and her mother Dawn Lifsey at the grave site.

A funeral directors has apologised to grieving relatives after leaving a family grave site in an “unacceptable” mess.

Grandmother Jean Britton passed away in August aged 80, and wanted her ashes to be laid to rest at the site of her late husband Geoffrey, and their 13-year-old son David, at Ferrybridge Cemetery.

But the family were left horrified when they recently visited the site and found chippings removed from the grave, stones broken up and left, and flowers from Mrs Britton’s funeral thrown to one side.

Her granddaughter, Claire Britton, said: “It just looked awful and they gave us no explanation as to why they have done it. They said they would correct it but they have now ruined it.

“There were flowers from my nana’s funeral and they were just thrown to one side and ruined. My mother has not been able to grieve properly because of all of this.”

Jennings Funeral Directors in Knottingley, who handled the arrangements, said they had explained to the family that the grave would need to be opened for an internment of the ashes, but found a cast concrete bed which they had no choice but to break.

However, they said the stonemason employed should have then removed the broken stone afterwards.

A spokesman for the funeral directors admitted the situation caused a “great deal of distress” and take full responsibility, adding: “We are extremely sorry and wish to offer our sincerest apologies.

“We carried out the preparations for the internment of the ashes in the grave with the best intentions and contracted a fully qualified, registered, stonemason to carry out the work.

“However, the quality of the work carried out by the stonemason was well below the standards we expect and the condition in which the grave was temporarily left was completely unacceptable.”

They said the grave would be returned to its original condition at no cost.