Family plead for safe return of memorial pot to Chard cemetery

THE space in Chard cemetery left by the missing pot.

THE space in Chard cemetery left by the missing pot.

First published in News Chard & Ilminster News: Photograph of the Author by

A FAMILY is distraught after discovering a memorial pot marking their father's grave in Chard has disappeared.

Michael Phillips died in 1980 and is buried in the Zembard Lane cemetery, where a stone pot inscribed with his name and 'RIP' has marked his grave ever since.

His children, who began life in Beckington Crescent, are desperately trying to locate the pot, just days after finding out their mother has now also died.

Michael's daughter, Sharron Phillips, said: “The pot is quite small - it's all our mum could afford when he died. It is made of marble or granite.

“It has been there for 34 years and has never gone missing, so why now? It's just so disheartening to see my dad's grave without anything marking it.

“My sisters and brother are stunned to think that someone might have taken this from the graveyard. Who on earth would want to do that? It's disgusting.

“PCSO Ben Samways has been as good as gold - he has phoned me regarding the matter and got in touch with Chard Town Council too.

“A team from the council searched high and low in the four-acre cemetery - on every single grave, under bushes, you name it, but they didn't find it. We really appreciate all they and the police have done for us.

“But it's heart-breaking to go up there and look at an empty grave now, so my family and I would plead with anyone who knows anything about this to come forward.”

Sharron's sister, Karren Masterman, added: “It's a nightmare for us, especially after just finding out we have lost our mum. We feel devastated.

“We are in total and utter disbelief. Why would you do that? What would you gain?

“There's nothing there that says it's my dad now - it just looks like any other bit of earth.

“If we don't find the pot, we are going to have to find a way to raise money to buy something else for his grave.”

The cemetery is locked from just before sunset - around 4.30pm at the moment - until 8.30am every night.

Terry Powell, operations manager for Chard Town Council, has never known of anything like this happening before.

He said: “Occasionally things get moved around and we find them eventually, but in this case we haven't been able to. We have never had anything taken away - in the two and a half years I have been here this is the first thing that has gone completely.

“There is not a lot of vandalism, graffiti, or anything like that in Chard - people are normally very respectful.

“A cemetery is a public place, so we have to strike a balance between security and making sure we don't approach people who might be upset unnecessarily.

“There might not be someone there all the time, but for most of the opening hours there is someone about and people are keeping their eyes open for it.”

A police spokesman said: “We are currently investigating the theft of this memorial pot. Anyone who has seen the pot or knows who took it should contact Avon and Somerset Police on 101 and quote 19125/14.”

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:58pm Tue 11 Mar 14

sunshine35 says...

It's not the first incident up there, Our baby daughter's teddys heads were pulled off weeks after we buried her. My children were heart broken. The groundsmen are great there though...
It's not the first incident up there, Our baby daughter's teddys heads were pulled off weeks after we buried her. My children were heart broken. The groundsmen are great there though... sunshine35
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree