Update: Welwyn Garden City family's grief at grave mix-up

PUBLISHED: 12:59 03 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:18 26 October 2009

Doris Cawley

Doris Cawley

GRIEVING children were left in shock as the wrong grave was dug on the day of their 80-year-old mother's funeral. Mum-of-three Doris Cawley knew she had terminal cancer and had planned to be buried with husband Tom in the family plot at Hatfield Hyde ceme

GRIEVING children were left in shock as the wrong grave was dug on the day of their 80-year-old mother's funeral.

Mum-of-three Doris Cawley knew she had terminal cancer and had planned to be buried with husband Tom in the family plot at Hatfield Hyde cemetery, in WGC.

The grandma-of-six was a keen volunteer at St Mary Magdalene Church, where her funeral service was held.

But when mourners arrived at the Hollybush Lane graveyard they discovered a different family plot had been opened.

Son Brian, of Moorside, WGC, said: "They have desecrated someone else's grave."

Brian, who runs a plumbing company, said he and his two sisters were shocked.

"We were just so numb, we had to have the wake without burying my mum."

Welwyn Hatfield Council has blamed "human error" for the mistake by contractor John O'Conner, who had mixed up paperwork for the two funerals on consecutive Fridays.

Chief executive Michel Saminaden wrote to the family apologising and agreed to waive the fee.

But Mr Cawley said the way his family was treated when they approached the council was disgraceful.

He said: "Heads should roll.

"This can never happen again, the council are supposed to be up there serving us.

"They should be ashamed.

"I know people are sorry, I don't want sorry.

"I don't want anything from them, I don't want their money.

"Lots of relatives went away not seeing her buried and her funeral will be remembered for all the wrong reasons."

Mr Cawley also demanded the other family was contacted.

The council has confirmed their funeral was unaffected.


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