Town Council Removes 4-Year-Old’s Headstone Because Its Shape Violated ‘Cemetery Rules’

A single mother from Malvern, Worcestershire named “Jo” Corbett has been left distressed after her son’s headstone had been forcibly removed without her permission on the cemetery grounds because it was “not in keeping” with the other designs in the cemetery.

She mentions that her 4-year old deceased son, Max Corbett-Gardener, had died three years ago due to severe complications associated with epilepsy, and it would have been celebrating his seventh birthday this year.

According to Ms Corbett, she had taken three years to decide on a special tombstone for Max, which took her a lot of courage and determination. She also says:”It would have been his seventh birthday on the Sunday, and this was like a birthday present to him from me.”

“I chose a star-shaped stone because I wanted something suitable for Max – something personal. This stone is just so perfect for my poor little chap.”

The Malvern Town Council removed the headstone last Monday, three days just after it was erected into Max’s grave, and did not notify Ms Corbett pertaining the incident.

“I was totally unaware this was going on,” she states. “The council did not contact me and it was the stonemason who told me he’d been ordered to remove it. I feel upset, distressed and angry. We have been through so much as a family. I could understand if the grave was uncared for or unsightly, but it isn’t.”

The distraught Ms Corbett had admitted she was aware of the rules and regulations regarding the size and upkeep of the headstones, but was not aware of the shapes regulating them as well.

She mentions that it would have been allowed should Max’s grave been placed on the children’s section of the Great Malvern Cemetery, however her lot was placed on the lawn cemetery section, close to her other relatives, where the policies had been set.

“We have a conformity of shapes in our lawn cemetery,” the council said. “We were contacted by people who objected to the shape. The longer it stayed up, the harder the process would have been.

“It was a very difficult decision to remove it but one we had to make straight away.” the council finally states.

Sources: BBC News / Photo Credit: SWNS TV