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Woman's anguish after council alters memorial to her baby son

PUBLISHED: 23:34 04 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:24 05 September 2019

Lynda Woodhouse with the grave of her former husband, Barry PICTURE: Matthew Farmer

Lynda Woodhouse with the grave of her former husband, Barry PICTURE: Matthew Farmer

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The mother of a boy who died hours after birth has spoken of her anguish after a memorial stone laid for him was altered without her knowledge.

The graveand memorial among the stones at East Rudham Cemetery PICTURE: Matthew FarmerThe graveand memorial among the stones at East Rudham Cemetery PICTURE: Matthew Farmer

Lynda Woodhouse, 69, had a memorial to baby Paul installed at East Rudham Cemetery off Fakenham Road after her ex-husband died last year.

But Mrs Woodhouse said she was not told when East Rudham Parish Council lowered the stone - which had sat on a small plinth - to be closer to the ground.

She said: "What gets me is after all this, after everything was fine and after all the times they could have said something, they didn't even tell me it had been done.

"I wouldn't have had it done if I knew this was going to happen. I just don't want anyone else to go through what I had to."

Paul died in 1972, just hours after he was christened in hospital following his birth, and was buried in King's Lynn.

Mrs Woodhouse was divorced from his father, Barry, in 1991, but they remained close, and he died in April 2018 after a battle with oesophageal cancer.

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When he was buried at East Rudham Cemetery, Mrs Woodhouse wanted something so she could remember their son there as well, so had the memorial stone installed.

Lynda Woodhouse with the grave of her former husband, Barry PICTURE: Matthew FarmerLynda Woodhouse with the grave of her former husband, Barry PICTURE: Matthew Farmer

She said: "It felt like they were together in some way. For a short time, I was content."

Parish council chairman Tony Elburn said he had to make an exception to allow the stone to be laid. He said: "I probably shouldn't have done, as this was the start of the trouble."

He said he did not realise the memorial had been positioned on a plinth to prevent it sinking into the grass, breaking regulations.

Mr Elburn said: "One, it was a trip hazard and a health and safety issue. Two, its position could damage grass-cutting equipment, and three, the stone could get damaged."

The council agreed to have the stone lowered on Tuesday August 20, and a letter requesting the work was written, with a copy to go to Mrs Woodhouse. But the following Saturday Mr Elburn saw the stone had already been lowered, so a letter of thanks was written.

Mrs Woodhouse got a letter thanking her for co-operating instead - before she had realised the memorial had been moved.

Mr Elburn said: "As far as the parish council is concerned, the matter is resolved."

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