Sudbury family voices outrage after large quantity of dirt piled onto relative's grave
A Sudbury family have voiced their outrage after a dirt mound was piled on to a relative’s grave, which they say led to tributes laid around the gravestone being damaged.
The burial site of Frederick Fayers, located at Sudbury Cemetery on Constitution Hill, was covered in tarpaulin with a large quantity of earth on Tuesday, March 5, while gravediggers worked on an adjacent plot.
Sudbury Town Council explained it is normal procedure, when a grave is re-opened, for earth to be carefully placed on the grave next to it, and that Mr Fayers’ grave was restored to its normal state by the following day.
But the family of Mr Fayers, who was buried in 1984, said they had received no prior notice of the work, and claimed the process resulted in damage to flowers and a pair of shrubs that had been planted at the grave in his memory.
His granddaughter, Adelle Fayers, told the Free Press the family had been left very upset by what they found, and called for a change in the council’s policy.
“My little girl knows that that’s her great-granddad. She burst into tears when she saw it,” she said. “My nan didn’t sleep on Tuesday night because she was so worried about it. She has been really distressed.
“We have not got an apology or an explanation. We don’t want it to happen to anyone else. It’s just so disrespectful.”
In response, the town council stated it had assured Mr Fayers’ family that the grave would be fully reinstated, and the authority would replace the shrubs if they did not survive.
Assistant town clerk Jodie Budd claimed that, despite these assurances, both she and the cemetery manager were subject to aggressive language, and the gravedigger and his family had received abuse and threats both in person and online, which the Fayers family denies.
“This is not a procedure just carried out by Sudbury Town Council, but by most cemetery authorities,” she said. “When a family require a grave to be reopened that is surrounded by used graves, the gravedigger has no choice but to temporarily cover the grave next door.
“The work to reopen the grave, bury the deceased and reinstate Mr Fayers’ grave was all completed within 24 hours.”