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New clue in ashes casket on Dymchurch beach mystery - Surrey crematorium now named

By Sam Lennon

A major new clue has come up over the mystery of a casket of ashes found on a beach.

Council officials have been trying to trace the family of the man whose cremated remains were discovered in Dymchurch.

The ashes casket of John Bunde. Why did it end up in Dymchurch?

Now Shepway District Council’s burials department have been told where he was cremated, which would lead them to relatives.

A Shepway District Council spokesman said: “We are now getting in touch with that crematorium to tell them how the casket was found. Through them we hope to get in touch with the family.”

The ashes of John Bunde - puzzle over its discovery on Romney Marsh.

The remains of John Olgerts Bunde, 87, were found on the beach behind the Ocean Inn on August 5.

The discovery was made by nine-year-old south Londoner Mason Brooks while on holiday with family and friends.

Mason Brooks on Dymchurch seafront with the ashes casket he found.

After the story was publicised by Kent Online a woman member of the public called Shepway council to say that Mr Bunde, was cremated at North East Surrey Crematorium in the south London suburb of Morden.

He died last October 31 but the date of the cremation is not yet known.

It had already been discovered that Mr Bunde was a Latvian waiter from Paddington, west London, who had been made a British citizen on March 2, 1964.

Mason Brooks, nine, with his family and friends. He discovered the casket.

But it is still a mystery as to why his ashes, in a plastic bag inside a wooden casket, ended up hundreds of yards into the beach. It was only semi-buried, with the top of the box visible through the sand.

It had been one wet sands, within reach of the tide, and the box lid was unfastened,which could have caused the ashes to be washed away.

The only initial clue was a plaque on the box saying who the dead man was, his age and when he died.

Shepway officials had first contacted the local crematoriums of Hawkinge, Barham and Charing who said that Mr Bunde’s remains had not been handled by them.

Anyone who can further help should email customer.services@shepway.gov.uk.

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