UK Council Tears Down Child’s Headstone Without Warning

UK Council Tears Down Child’s Headstone Without Warning

A story has come of the UK that will likely leave many of the parents among you feeling shocked and upset.

As we all know, it’s a parent’s worst nightmare to lose their child. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to the parents of Max Corbett-Gardener, from Malvern, Worcestershire, England, was just four years old when he passed away in 2013 due to complications with his epilepsy.

To make matters worse for the family of the deceased, they are now embroiled in a legal battle with the council, who took it upon themselves to remove their son’s gravestone without warning or consent.

According to reports, Max’s mother, Jo Corbett-Weeks, spent some time saving close to $4,580 in order to give her little boy a special headstone in the cemetery: something that would reflect the kind of kid he was. She chose a star-shaped headstone that is being hugged by a teddy bear with an inscription.

As you can see, while it might not be traditional, the headstone is certainly cute, and you can see by all the flowers just how much Max meant to his family, and how much they continue to miss him. But apparently, all this means very little to the council, who are standing by their decision to remove the stone.

Max’s mom told the BBC, “I chose a star-shaped stone because I wanted something suitable for Max—something personal. This stone is just so perfect for my poor little chap.” The headstone took about three years to get paid for and to be officially placed on the grave site. Finally, on his 7th birthday, it happened. Three days later, however, it was removed from the cemetery by the Malvern Town Council.

As Max’s mom mentioned above, the bereaved family are not rich, and the custom headstone took 3 years to pay off, only to be removed without warning. This adds another level of pain and inconvenience to the ordeal.

On top of this, it was removed without the family’s consent. According to the Council, a complaint was made about the headstone not complying with cemetery rules. The mother told the BBC, “I was totally unaware this was going on. The council did not contact me and it was the stonemason who told me he’d been ordered to remove it.”

Imagine being such a busybody that you report the grave of a deceased child to the council! I hope that person can sleep well at night after this.
The exact motivations of the person who made the complaint to the council are unknown – as you would expect, they chose to remain anonymous. However, the council decided to act very swiftly on this one complaint, and had a stonemason remove the headstone almost immediately.

In an interview with the British newspaper the Daily Mail, Max’s mom added: “The headstone meant a lot to me and the family but now we are fighting to have it put back. It’s a horrible situation. We just want to have somewhere to grieve.”

But the council is defending the action, saying that if Jo Corbett-Weeks had submitted the application during a specific time frame, they would have told her upfront that she couldn’t use that specific headstone.

I know that everywhere has rules and regulations, but this just seems like unnecessary stickling to me. I mean, how could you possibly bring yourself to look a grieving mother in the eye and tell her that you had removed her late son’s headstone because it didn’t fit the policies of the cemetery?

For me, this seems like a case of a council overstepping their mark and throwing the book at someone who deserved it the least. If Max’s headstone is not reinstated, I think the very least they could do is reimburse the family for the cost of the headstone, and maybe offer them some compensation for the pain and suffering that the decision has caused.

What do you think of this story? Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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