Kelsale: Widow’s floral tributes stolen from husband’s grave

An upset widow has condemned the repeated theft of floral tributes to her late husband from a Suffolk churchyard.

Mary Ford was appalled to discover that, for the third time in recent years, an arrangement of geraniums had been removed from her husband Stan’s grave at the Church of St Mary and St Peter in Kelsale.

The 76-year-old, who is registered disabled and unable to visit the churchyard regularly, is now considering leaving the plot bare to avoid the distress of another similar incident occurring.

She said: “I’m so upset and cross – in the end I might have to stop replacing them.”

The EADT first spoke to Mrs Ford in 2005, when a plant trough was taken from her husband’s headstone for the second time in as many years.

On that occasion, Mrs Ford put up a handwritten sign addressed to whoever removed the arrangement, saying: “It was a most despicable act and you should be ashamed of yourself. I don’t know how you can sleep at night.

“How low can you stoop to steal from a grave? It was so wicked.

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“Perhaps you are sick and you should see a doctor.”

For further insurance, Mrs Ford painted her husband’s name on a replacement trough.

She assumed the sign had helped resolve the problem, until being informed of the latest incident.

Mrs Ford, whose husband died in 1996, said: “I thought someone’s conscience had got the better of them. Then a neighbour told me one of the geraniums had been taken.”

Another Kelsale resident later informed Mrs Ford that the two remaining plants had also been removed, leaving her wondering whether or not to replace the plants again.

“It’s just upsetting,” she said.

“My son planted them because I can’t get up to the church any more.

“I’m not sure if it was some opportunist who found something for their garden, but I think whoever did it should be brought to book. It’s the lowest of the low.”

Mrs Ford, who lives in the village, said she has also laid winter flowers at the grave, and an arrangement of ivy and laurel each Christmas, but these have never been taken.

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