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Family’s grief deepens after son’s grave covered in soil
GRIEVING parents have been shocked to find their son’s grave covered with earth from a grave dug next to his.
Bridget and Chris Burchell had only said goodbye to their son a few weeks before the upsetting discovery.
Their oldest son Matthew passed away in July after a battle with terminal cancer.
Mr Burchell, 39, was diagnosed with the rare form of cancer, Ewing’s sarcoma, which is more commonly found in teenagers and young adults, in October 2011.
His funeral was held at the beginning of August and a month later, on September 2, Matthew’s six-year-old son Kylan was taken to see his father’s grave for the first time since the funeral.
But Mr Burchell’s grave, in Tower Hill Cemetery, Witney, was under a large mound of earth and covered by a green tarpaulin.
His mother said: “Matthew’s son was really, really upset. He couldn’t understand where his daddy was.
“I have spoken to several people and they are also unhappy about it happening to other people’s graves.
“It’s not just not being able to see his grave, but all the things that we had there had just been chucked to the side. It was really, really upsetting.
“The grave next to his was dug on Monday and I think the woman was buried on the Wednesday, so for two days we couldn’t see his grave.
“It has been horrible for us. It was less than a month since the funeral and we are still very much grieving.”
Witney Town Council said it was normal practice and there was not another way for graves to be dug.
Facilities manager Claire Swan said: “Graves are dug like this all over the country. We have to do it in advance, but this will happen across the country. It is not something that only Witney Town Council does.”
Matthew previously spoke to the Oxford Mail and Witney Gazette in 2009 when he was badly beaten up in a series of alleged harassments.
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