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Bourne woman buried in wrong grave after mix up by council

A widow whose dying wish was to be reunited with her husband has been buried in the wrong grave.

Myra Taylor longed to be buried with her husband Ike, who died 32 years ago, at their plot in Bourne Cemetery and, as her health deteriorated, she began having nightmares about not being with him.

But instead of being laid to rest in the double plot with her beloved husband of 41 years, she was buried in the plot next to it, following her death on August 1. She was 91.

Myra Taylor was buried in the plot belonging to her estranged son
Myra Taylor was buried in the plot belonging to her estranged son

Myra had bought the plot she is currently interred in for her only child, a son, who she became estranged from later in life.

Her funeral was held at the end of August at Bourne Methodist Church with a burial afterwards at the South Road cemetery.

While at the burial, her niece Sandra Wilson first suspected something was wrong after noticing Ike’s headstone was still at the grave, despite Myra making requests for it to be taken away so her name could be added.

Myra Taylor
Myra Taylor

“I said to relatives ‘she is in the wrong grave’,” said Sandra, 58.

“It was raining and everyone was already very distressed so told me not to worry.

“I was so determined it was the wrong grave I got my husband to take me to the cemetery the next morning.”

It was then she discovered her aunt had been buried in the neighbouring grave earmarked for Myra’s son.

Myra and Ike Taylor
Myra and Ike Taylor

When Myra’s health deteriorated last Christmas, Sandra had suggested taking out a pre-payment plan with funeral directors Carltons, clearly setting out her wishes with the aim of putting her worried aunt’s mind at ease.

“I was heartbroken,” said Sandra. “I just sobbed.

“I was the only person left to honour her wishes and I had promised her if we did a funeral plan, it would safeguard her so this didn’t happen.”

Sandra contacted Bourne Town Council, which is in charge of the cemetery, requesting Myra be moved to the correct grave.

Myra Taylor was buried in the plot belonging to her estranged son
Myra Taylor was buried in the plot belonging to her estranged son

However, as she was already buried, permission is needed from the Ministry of Justice to exhume the body, which Bourne Town Council is still waiting on.

For the past four months Sandra has had ‘sleepless nights’ and has branded the ordeal ‘horrendous’.

She added: “She was a very strong lady but she would be heartbroken if she knew what had happened.

Bourne Cemetery
Bourne Cemetery

“Her one wish was to be laid to rest with her husband.”

The couple, who lived together in Bourne, married in August 1950 when Ike was 21 and Myra was 18. Ike died of cancer in November 1991, aged 62.

“They were never anywhere without each other,” Sandra said. “Even though she had been widowed such a long time, she just wanted to be reunited with her husband.”

Ike's gravestone
Ike's gravestone

Sandra ‘doesn’t blame anyone’ and understands ‘accidents happen’ but has issued a warning to other grieving families.

“On the day before, check to make sure it is the right grave,” she said.

“It is now taking an awful lot of time to get permission to move her.

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“If we can't, I don't know what I will do as I don’t want to leave her where she is.”

Bourne Town Council clerk Ian Sismey has written to the Ministry of Justice asking for permission to move Myra’s body.

He is still awaiting an answer and says the council has to follow the correct procedures.

“We will do whatever we can to resolve this,” he said, adding they should have an answer by Christmas.

The council is ‘unsure’ about the cost of moving Myra.

The Ministry of Justice said the procedure is to seek permission from the grave owner before a licence can be granted.

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