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Husband ‘can’t grieve’ after wife was buried in the wrong grave

March 18th, 2023

Janet and Thomas Duncan. (SWNS)

A heartbroken husband has said he “can’t even grieve” after his late wife was buried in the wrong grave.

Thomas Duncan’s wife Janet, 73, died in December last year after she suffered from a ruptured bowel and heart failure.

She was buried a month later at Neston Cemetery in Cheshire and he believed she was in a plot he had bought for them both ten years ago.

Thomas, 65, from Neston, found out a month later that Cheshire West and Chester Council had provided the wrong plot number to the undertakers and Janet was buried in the wrong grave.

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Janet and Thomas Duncan holding hands - the last picture taken before she died. (SWNS)

Janet and Thomas Duncan holding hands – the last picture taken before she died. (SWNS)

Prior to his wife’s burial, Thomas had contacted the stonemasons to get a gravestone made for Janet – but he said the council refused the application and said his name didn’t match the one on the deeds.

He said: “They admitted that they’d buried her in the wrong plot and no one has helped or tried to contact me when they said they would.

“I can’t even grieve my wife at the moment because I don’t know what’s happening.

“The undertakers have been absolutely amazing.

“They were given the wrong plot by the local authority and it is a horrendous mistake.

“If I died tomorrow, I wouldn’t be buried with my wife.”

Thomas, who was married to Janet for 45 years, has not had any communication with the council since he found out about the error.

He said the council will not tell him who owns the plot his wife has been buried in.

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Janet Duncan died in December. (SWNS)

Janet Duncan died in December. (SWNS)

Thomas, who fostered over 30 children in 34 years with Janet, said: “Someone owns the deeds to that plot and someone is going to find out that Janet is buried there.

“Through all of this, the council has not once said sorry to me.

“They’re more annoyed at me because I shouted down the phone but I am angry and grieving.

“They just don’t understand and they are not interested.

“I want communication and for them to take responsibility and to tell me she isn’t being moved and I will be buried with her.”

Thomas is now looking to seek legal action to help get a full £1,800 reimbursement from the council but he fears he won’t be able to afford a solicitor.

A Cheshire West and Chester Council spokesperson added: “This is a very delicate issue and investigations are ongoing.

“The Council is in contact with those involved and understands the emotional impact it has had on all concerned.”

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