Rugby man says funeral director has not told him what has been done with his mother's ashes

A Rugby man said he has been left not knowing if his mother's ashes have been scattered with a stranger's instead of her husband's - or if she has even been scattered at all.

Monday, 18th November 2019, 11:37 am
Updated Monday, 18th November 2019, 5:22 pm
Patricia Adams, known as Pat, had lived in Hillmorton for 59 years.

Patricia Adams was well-known in the community, having lived on Percival Road in Hillmorton for 59 years.

She was 82 when she died in February this year and her son, David Adams, organised the funeral with Heart of England Co-operative Funeralcare - a decision he now regrets.

Mr Adams said the problems began when, after the wake had been planned, the funeral director called to tell him he must find a new venue within three days because the wake had been double-booked with a weight loss group's meeting.

Co-operative Funeralcare on Bilton Road. Photo: Google Streetview.

He said: "We'd chosen that venue because there were elderly relatives nearby with all kinds of problems - I knew they would struggle to go anywhere else."

A spokesperson for the funeral provider said the mix-up with the wake, although 'extremely unfortunate', was out of their control.

After the funeral, Mr Adams was told his mother, as per her wishes, had been scattered in Canley near where her relatives had also been scattered.

But when his niece went to the site and saw no sign anything had been done, the family contacted Funeralcare and said they were told that Mrs Adams' ashes had not been scattered.

Funeralcare then said that, as a goodwill gesture, they would waive the scattering fees.

But Mr Adams said: "I'm fairly sure I had already paid those anyway."

Then Mr Adams received a letter asking him to pay the fees for scattering the remains of a man he had never heard of.

Mrs Adams' husband died months before her - and it was her wish that she be scattered with her husband's ashes.

And Mr Adams said he is now worried that, if his mother's ashes have been scattered, they have been scattered with the stranger who is mentioned in the letter.

"I don't know who has been scattered with my mum, or if she has even been scattered at all," Mr Adams said.

"They told me it's been done but I've had no certificate or proper confirmation that it's happened.

"And when I try to call to speak to someone I can't get to a manager who might be able to sort it out.

"We paid nearly £4,000 for this funeral and they have behaved like a Mickey Mouse outfit.

"HoE should pay some compensation. I don't want a penny but I think they should make a substantial contribution to Myton Hospice in my mother's name."

The company responds:

Darryl Smith, general manager of the Heart of England Co-operative Society’s Funeral Division, said: “The Heart of England Co-operative Society prides itself on the level of service and care it provides to its families and takes any issues of complaint extremely seriously.

“At the time of the funeral we did not receive any complaint from Mr. Adams nor his family and all costs were settled immediately following the funeral.

“The funeral ran smoothly and everything was carried out in accordance with Mr. Adams’ instructions.

“The situation regarding the wake was extremely unfortunate and one which was out of our control.

“As for any issues with regards to the scattering of the cremated remains, neither ourselves or Canley crematorium are aware of any issues relating to this aspect of the funeral service.

“We have had no contact with Mr. Adams since the funeral."

Mr Adams said he has raised his concerns with Funeralcare - but has not been able to get through to a manager.

He added that the family is still not sure what has happened to Mrs Adams' ashes.