Thieves steal planter from wife’s graveside

A widower has been left devastated after a unique planter placed on the grave of his late wife was stolen from a village cemetery.

Thieves have targeted the cemetery opposite Anwick Church and taken a heavy planter from an elderly resident's grave. EMN-200727-171539001
Thieves have targeted the cemetery opposite Anwick Church and taken a heavy planter from an elderly resident's grave. EMN-200727-171539001

Arthur Ingram, 81, of Anwick, said he had visited his wife, Mary’s grave last week and was shocked to find on Sunday when he returned that a large, heavy planter in the shape of a lakeland cottage had been taken from the grave.

“I just couldn’t believe it when I came and saw it was missing,” he said.

Daughter Dawn Smith said: “He had been to my mum’s grave in Anwick Cemetery to put some fresh flowers on and check the plants and spend some time with her. Only to find that some low life has stolen the handmade stone lakeland cottage planter that we had bought and brought down from our Cumbrian home.

Arthur Ingram, 81, of Anwick and his wife Mary, who died aged 79 and is buried in the village cemetery. EMN-200729-165831001

“This cannot have been just an opportunist random theft as the planter itself is substantial in weight.

“A man makes them by hand and sells them on Keswick market and my partner had to carry it all the way to the car park and it must weigh 40lbs.

“My mum’s grave is at the furthest end of the cemetery away from the road and the planter itself could not be seen from the road - so we can only assume that it was someone ‘visiting’ another grave, which makes this even worse.

“It is hardly likely that there will be another in the Lincolnshire area, so it should be easy for someone to notice it appearing in someone’s garden.”

A family devastated by the theft of the sentimental planter from Mary's grave in Anwick cemetery. From left - Mary and Arthur Ingram and daughter Dawn Smith. EMN-200729-165843001

She said it was mainly of sentimental value.

“This is most upsetting as we lost both my mum and my aunt within days of each other last year and my parents had been together since my mum was 17 and my dad was 21 and married for over 50 years.”

She hoped someone will return it to its rightful place, back on her mum’s grave.

Mr Ingram added that the planter had been placed there until the headstone is installed in September, as there has been a backlog due to Covid-19.

He was reporting the matter to the parish council and the police.

He said: “It is about two feet long and is a little cottage with a place on top to put flowers.”

His wife died on August 29 last year from pancreatic cancer. She had fought off three varying forms of the disease 18 years previously and he had nursed her until she died.

Mary was born and bred in the village, while Arthur had travelled to Sleaford with his family after twice being made homeless by bombing in the London Blitz.

“We came to Sleaford with just the clothes on our backs and were taken in ,” he said.

Jeanne Flanagan, clerk to the parish council and church treasurer, said there had been no other recent incidents.

Call police on 101 with information.