‘Let our mum be buried in Littleport’ says family in 11th hour bid to fulfil their dying mum’s wishes - but council says NO

Rosemary Talbot, centre, died of cancer earlier this month, with her daughters Katie (left) and Sall

Rosemary Talbot, centre, died of cancer earlier this month, with her daughters Katie (left) and Sally. - Credit: Archant

‘Allow my mum to be buried amongst her family’ is the sentiment a Littleport family are pleading after being told their mother’s dying wish could not be fulfilled.

Letter from MP Steve Barclay to Littleport Parish Council

Letter from MP Steve Barclay to Littleport Parish Council - Credit: Archant

The family of Rosemary Talbot, who died of cancer earlier this month, are calling for a sense of compassion after they were told by Littleport Parish Council that their mother could not be buried with multiple generations of her family, including her mother and father. Rosemary’s daughter Sally Talbot has now set up a petition on Change.org which has attracted over 1,000 signees, to persuade the parish council to change its mind.

She said: “Funeral arrangements were put in place, and on Wednesday September 16 we were told she cannot be buried at Littleport cemetery as she is no longer a parishioner.

“My mum grew up on Parsons Lane, was christened and married in Littleport, and we would like to fulfil her wishes of being laid to rest, amongst many members of her family, in Littleport cemetery.

“Currently there are rules in place stating we are unable to do so.” Her mother died in Ely where she had lived for many years.

However Sally has traced Rosemary’s relatives in Littleport back to 1837 with the help of her family.

They found that her relatives are all buried in Littleport cemetery.

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Sally added: “Having spoken with both vicars of Littleport they are disgusted with the decision, but have no say in what the council say are the rules.

“Please help us bring peace for our family, and most of all, our wonderful Mum,” the petition concludes.

Sally added: “How much more Littleport can you get?

“I’m sure they can allow something, it’s not the law. But they’re just ignoring everything that is being said. We don’t feel that they are actually considering anything.

“I think they are just trying to stall us so that we give up, but I don’t want anyone else to have to go through this in the future. We cannot quite believe it’s happening really.”

Local MP Stephen Barclay has also showed his support to the family by sending a letter to Littleport Parish Council, urging them to “consider my constituent and her late mother’s wishes, and allow her to be laid to rest at the Littleport cemetery.

“Ms Talbot has said that her mother wished to be buried with her parents and that when she passes away, she would also like to be buried with her mother.

“I also understand that she has been informed that the issue cannot be raised at the next parish council meeting as the council requires seven days’ notice.

“Given the late Mrs Talbot’s funeral is expected to take place on Friday October 2, I would be most grateful if you could look into this case urgently”, he added.

Andrew Harding, a family friend of Rosemary’s, said: “The grieving family were informed this would be ok and a suitable plot was found.

“When trying to book this plot the parish council informed them this was not acceptable and would not be allowed to go ahead as she did not live in Littleport at the time of her death.

“It would be nice to think that the parish council could, or would, show some compassion in such circumstances.

“Clearly somebody’s faith, last dying wish and family history have no bearing on the decision within a modern parish council.

“We do not feel that this is an unreasonable request, highlighted by the shear amount of support we have for this cause, he added.

“I sincerely hope a reasonable and compassionate decision can be made.”

The petition has drawn a number of comments stating that the council should reverse its decision.

Elle Seymour, of Ely, said: “Not everything in life is black and white; occasionally rules need to be flexible, assessing each case on its own merits.

“Surely the parishes can work together to grant the last wishes of a dear friend, wife and mother who has been prematurely taken at the cruel hands of cancer.”

Another, Louise Giles, of Swaffham, said it is “ridiculous.

“It was and is her wish, she was a parishioner and from Littleport.

“Ridiculous and appalling her family have to go through this at such a difficult time. “RIP, my heart goes out to her family.”

The parish has been asked to comment.

Parish council chairman Clive Webber has told the family by letter that he was “extremely sorry” not to be able to meet their request.