‘Shock and horror’ as ‘devastated’ resident found memorials gone from her mother’s grave at Welton Road Cemetery

‘They do not take care of the dead’
Joan Balmforth's stone pictured this year.Joan Balmforth's stone pictured this year.
Joan Balmforth's stone pictured this year.

A local woman has spoken of her heartbreak after visiting her mother’s grave on her birthday and finding all the memorials gone at Welton Road Cemetery, in Daventry.

Sharon Buckle, 56, from Daventry, lost her mother nearly nine years ago.

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On her mother's birthday, September 13, Sharon went to the cemetery and discovered that all of the personal touches from her loved one's grave had vanished.

Joan Balmforth's final resting place pictured at Welton Road Cemetery.Joan Balmforth's final resting place pictured at Welton Road Cemetery.
Joan Balmforth's final resting place pictured at Welton Road Cemetery.

Sharon said: “My shock and horror when I went to my mum’s grave for her birthday and found all the items that were on her headstone were gone.”

Sharon’s mother, Joan Balmforth, died on January 11, 2015, aged 70, after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer on July 16, 2014.

“She was wonderful. She wasn’t just my mum. She was my best friend, my rock, and I miss her so much,” said Sharon.

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A palliative care nurse and Sharon assisted Joan in living out her final years.

“She suffered quite a lot. She used to vomit 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Sharon.

Sharon, one of three siblings, gave up her job and cared for her mother alone for the last six months of Joan’s life.

“I had some really good friends with me who helped me get through it, but the sad part was that she died in my arms at home. I fought for her to die at home, it crucified me, literally devasted my entire life,” said Sharon.

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Joan was cremated and her final resting place at Welton Road Cemetery was frequently visited by Shoan, who left a variety of sentimental items on her grave, such as artificial flowers and small ornaments.

“The cemetery at Welton Road is absolutely diabolical. They do not take care of the dead. They just damage things. I was absolutely devastated. Really devastated,” said Sharon.

Joan’s stone was put in place last year, on August 28.

“The stone was absolutely disgusting. It was a mess. I was devastated because they removed the stuff off there which they had no right to do.

“Every time I kept going up there, it has been damaged, so I had to keep replacing the things that have gone missing,” said Sharon.

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Sharon went to Daventry Town Council on Thursday, August 31, to voice her concerns. The daughter claims she was told the flowers were taken away because they were real flowers, which they were not.

“I can’t let this go. I need it to be sorted. It might be happening to other people that go up there. It’s just not right.

“I look after the grave and make sure it’s perfect. I don’t want no one touching my mum’s stone apart from me,” said Sharon.

A Daventry Town Council spokesperson said: “Daventry Town Council was saddened to learn of the loss of personal items from a grave in Welton Road Cemetery. Although items are rarely taken, they advise all loved ones not to place any items of value or sentimental value on the graves as sometimes they go missing.”

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Residents who have any cemetery concerns or queries can get in touch with the council’s Cemeteries Officer at either 01327 301246 or [email protected].

According to the Welton Road Cemetery Regulations document, which is available on the Daventry Town Council website, memorials permitted to be placed within the cemetery are at the sole risk of the owner, and Daventry Town Council doesn’t take any responsibility for any damage or breakage that may occur within the grounds.

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