Undertaker apologises for funeral error

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A funeral director has apologised over burial arrangements made after a grave was dug in the wrong place.

Joyce Leamey, from Great Cornard, died on December 27 at the age of 84.

Her funeral service was held at St Andrew’s Church, Great Cornard, on Monday, January 23, but she was not buried until the Wednesday, two days later.

One of Joyce’s closest friends said she had been left heartbroken by the mistake, which was caused by the grave at first being dug in the wrong part of the cemetery.

Another error was that Mrs Leamey’s name being spelt incorrectly on the order of service, she said.

Carolyn Hoare, one of Mrs Leamey’s eight children, said the problem had been caused as, although her mother’s funeral service was held in a Church of England church, she wanted to be buried in the Catholic side of the cemetery.

She said the funeral company had not asked the family about this.

The funeral service let the family know about the necessary delay for the burial on the Friday afternoon – meaning it was too late to rearrange the funeral service.

Mrs Hoare said in the end it was fine, with mainly close family members in attendance at the committal.

She added that the service for the 84-year-old, who had 75 grandchildren, was beautiful.

Andrew Dawes, head of funeral services at the East of England Co-op said: “We have been in touch with the family to discuss the service they have recently received from us, and have offered our sincerest apologies to them.

“A full investigation is currently under way to understand why this situation occurred, and to avoid this happening again.

“We have processes in place to ensure that all parts of a funeral are conducted to the high standard that our clients expect from us, and we are deeply sorry that on this occasion this has not been the case.”