Dad’s dismay as grave is damaged for a fourth time

Overgrown Graves at Eastbourne crematorium SUS-140528-164415001
Overgrown Graves at Eastbourne crematorium SUS-140528-164415001

An Eastbourne resident has slammed contractors at Langney Cemetery after his son’s grave was damaged for a fourth time this year.

Anthony Bremer has been visiting his son’s military plot at the crematorium every Sunday and Wednesday for the last ten years but turned up last week to discover the flowers he laid there had been sliced by grass cutters.

This wasn’t the first time either. On two previous occasions this year, Mr Bremer has found his son’s flowers cut up and strewn across the ground and back in January, gardeners cracked the headstone too.

Mr Bremer said, “When the headstone was damaged, it took a few days for the contractors to admit they were responsible. The crematorium managers apologised and replaced it with a new one.

“Since then, I’ve come down three times to find the flowers I’ve put down have been destroyed. My son’s grave has three plastic vases to put flowers in and the last time I went to visit, one of the vases was broken too.

“The managers have apologised again and replaced the vase but this simply isn’t good enough. It’s not like this is the local park, it’s a really sensitive area and we should be able to expect the contractors to do their jobs properly.

“I cut the grass around my son’s grave myself so there’s no reason for them to come anywhere near it. I don’t mind about the cost of the damage - it’s really not that expensive - but it’s very distressing to see it damaged and to know the contractors aren’t taking care when looking after the plots.”

A spokesperson for Eastbourne Borough Council said, “During grass cutting last week, a strimmer accidentally clipped a vase placed at the graveside of Mr Bremer’s son at Langney Cemetery. This was understandably upsetting to Mr Bremer. A full apology was made to him and we have given him a new vase.

“We want to avoid this happening again so have spoken to the council’s grass cutting contractor, The Landscape Group, to ensure every possible care is taken in future.”

The contractors at Langney Cemetery have previously come under criticism after mourners complained the grass was too long and the cemetery was becoming overgrown, making it difficult for some residents to find the graves of their loved ones.

There were also complaints of cut grass being left piled up around the site and of previous incidents where flowers have been beheaded.

In a previous statement, the council explained that strimmers were being used to manage the grass instead of lawnmowers to avoid damage to the headstones and plots at the cemetery.