Bury St Edmunds mum’s hurt after being asked to remove items from son’s grave in Thetford

Thetford cemetery. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Thetford cemetery. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A west Suffolk mother has said she feels hurt after being asked by Thetford Town Council to remove items from her son’s grave.

Carol Boreham’s son James has been buried at the London Road Cemetery for 30 years, after he died aged just six months.

But recently a letter from the authority was left on the grave requesting “personal items” to be removed from in front of the grave. Mrs Boreham said she has had to move two heart shaped vases and a windmill onto the headstone and has removed ornament angels and other items and put them into her garden.

The 69-year-old, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, said: “I am hurt, I really am. He has been there 30 years so why now?

“Lots of grieving parents put stuff on their children’s graves. When it is Christmas we buy James something for his grave. When we brought the other children something we always had to buy something for his grave.

“I have taken them off now and have put them in my garden.”

In the letter, the town council said an increase of personal items left on lawn graves - both in the new and older parts of the cemetery - over the years has caused the cemetery to “become cluttered and unkempt”.

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In order for the council to “manage and maintain” the lawn cemetery they are enforcing regulations which the authority has said have been in place for a number of years.

A spokesman for the council said people are issued with a set of regulations when they purchase the rights for burial and people can move items such as vases and flowers off the grass and onto the foundation stone.

However those left on the grass will be removed and kept for 28 days after which items that have not been collected will be disposed of.

Mrs Boreham added: “The council doesn’t ever cut James’ grave, my daughter does it so it cannot be a problem. Every time my daughter has gone to the grave she has cut the grass.”

She added: “They say let them rest in peace but what about those who are left behind? Being told what to do on your baby’s grave is very hurtful.”

Thetford Town Council has said people can contact them if they need advice by calling 01842 754247, emailing mail@thetfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or by visiting the council office at King’s House.

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