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Crematorium scatters ashes early

Leonard Stanley Adkins' cremated at Barham crematorium
Leonard Stanley Adkins' cremated at Barham crematorium



A Kent family say they'll never get closure after a crematorium scattered their dad's ashes without them.

Heather Brown, 50, from Whitstable, was devastated to learn Barham Crematorium had spread 86-year-old Leonard Stanley Adkins' ashes the day after he was cremated.

The family were present with a priest for the scattering of their mother's ashes in 2003 and had hoped to do the same with their dad, pictured above with wife Gwendoline.

Miss Brown learnt the news from a letter sent to her from after the cremation on October 13.

She said: "I was shocked, I couldn't believe they'd gone and done it without us.

"I felt that all my family would blame me because I did all the arrangements - but it's not my fault."

Miss Brown signed a form stating she wanted her dad's remains to be scattered next to their mother, but the contract stated this wouldn't happen within a month of cremation.

Barham crematorium say it is its policy to scatter remains the day after cremation, but this was not mentioned on the form which Ms Brown had signed.

Miss Brown added: "I thought they'd ring me to say my dad's ashes are ready and give me an option for when we can come and witness the scattering."

Heather's brother Paul Adkins, 46, from Walderslade said: "I wanted to say goodbye to my father - that was supposed to be our private sending off for him and we never got it."

She phoned the funeral directors, who said they were disappointed at what had happened.

Tim Welch, managing director of A Welch & Sons funeral directors said: "We understand the family's dissatisfaction. In my 20 years this has only occurred once before at Barham and we understand there's no way it can be rectified for any bereaved family."

He added: "The issue with the paperwork not being clear has been raised in the past."

Manager Richard Schacht of Charing Crematorium, which is owned by the same company as Barham, said: "Since this case the form instructing families what to do with cremated remains has been changed to stop any further confusion."

Ms Brown said: "If there's anything they can do it would be to let us put our father's name in the remembrance book for no charge. It's not about the money, but it would mean something to the family."

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