THE mystery of a missing gravestone which was believed to have been stolen from a Haydock church has been solved.
Gordon and Elizabeth Green’s headstone disappeared prompting fears a cold-hearted thief was targeting graveyards in the borough.
But, since the Green family’s ordeal appeared on the front page of last week’s St Helens Reporter, it has emerged the headstone was in fact taken by a blundering stonemason.
The heartbreaking mix-up was sparked when a worker singled out a marble slab featuring the ‘wrong’ Elizabeth Green.
By the time the mistake was uncovered, additional lettering had already been erroneously inscribed onto the wrong headstone.
The couple’s daughter, Anne Bourne, told the Reporter that she and her family had endured “the week from hell”.
She said: “When we spoke to them they couldn’t apologise enough.
“They then offered to provide us with a totally new headstone of our choice, free of charge, which we accepted. But we want it sorted out by February 2 - we need a gravestone there in time for my dad’s birthday.
“Nothing will compensate for the devastation we’ve been put through.”
The mystery first came to light when Mrs Bourne’s sister, Irene, paid her weekly visit to her parents’ final resting place - St Mark’s Cemetery in Haydock - on Saturday, January 14.
Last Thursday night (January 19) it finally emerged that stonemasons JT Memorials had accidentally removed the wrong headstone.
Mrs Bourne, 59, of Haydock, added: “This has upset a lot of people, but everyone has been so nice to us since the article in last week’s Reporter.
“Before we got to the bottom of what had happened, funeral director Bill Craddock even offered to donate a headstone to us for free. How lovely is that?”
Bosses at JT Memorials declined to comment.