THE daughter of a Fareham woman who was due to be buried with her husband said she was ‘disgusted’ after being informed that the burial could not take place.
Sarah Eatwell, who lives in Swindon, had travelled down to Fareham along with family and friends, to bid her mother, Sheila Bizley, farewell.
The family had paid for a double plot at Wickham Road cemetery in Fareham when Mrs Bizley’s husband, Kenelm, died and was buried there 27 years ago.
But Sarah’s brother was informed by Fareham Borough Council the day before the funeral that the grave was not orginally dug deep enough and the burial could not take place as planned.
‘We were absolutely gutted, it’s just an horrific situation that should never had happened,’ said Sarah, 53, who only found out an hour and a half before the funeral.
‘When we got to the church we had to inform the people attending that there would be no burial.
‘I was flabbergasted. I was absolutely lost for words.’
The funeral, which was held on Friday, April 10, was to be followed by the burial, but plans had to be changed at the last minute and Mrs Bizley’s coffin was returned to the funeral home.
Sarah was also informed that in order to bury her mother and father together, her father’s coffin would have to be removed from the earth to enable the digging of a deeper grave.
‘I have certainly made steps to contact the Ombudsman. This should not be allowed to happen to any other families,’ added Sarah.
‘My parents were very hard working people. They originally had 3 news agent shops in Fareham.
‘For something like that to happen to a family is just beyond words.’
Fareham Borough Council has applied to the Ministry of Justice to exhume Mr Bizley.
Leader of Fareham Borough Council, councillor Sean Woodward said: ‘I would like to apologise unreservedly to the family at this very difficult time on behalf of Fareham Borough Council.
‘Clearly a mistake was made over twenty-seven years ago and the only record that remains shows that there should have been a double grave.
‘We expect permission for the exhumation to be received later today (Monday) and the burial will then be able to go ahead at the family’s convenience.’