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Families describe anguish following graveyard thefts in Terrington St Clement




Alan Hodgson at St Clements Church graveyard. Where thieves have stolen two metal crosses from his parents gravestones.
Alan Hodgson at St Clements Church graveyard. Where thieves have stolen two metal crosses from his parents gravestones.

Two families affected by the thefts of sentimental items from a graveyard in Terrington St Clement have described the act as “senseless”.

The items were taken from a memorial bench and gravestones in the St Clements Church graveyard within the past month.

Police are appealing for information after thieves targeted a graveyard in Terrington St Clement
Police are appealing for information after thieves targeted a graveyard in Terrington St Clement

The families are hoping that sharing their stories may prevent this happening to others.

Two metal crosses were stolen from Alan Hodgson’s parents’ and brother’s gravestones, which were made by the family business Hodgson Forge, also based in the village.

Mr Hodgson said: “It seems a bit senseless. It’s sacred ground and it’s of sentimental value, and for the sake of a pound or two. It’s upsetting for the whole family.

“It will cost quite a bit to replace them. We still run a company and can replace them but that’s not the point.

Alan Hodgson at St Clements Church graveyard. Where thieves have stolen two metal crosses from his parents gravestones.
Alan Hodgson at St Clements Church graveyard. Where thieves have stolen two metal crosses from his parents gravestones.

“We want to stop it happening again. You just don’t take off of other people’s graves. It’s a mindless act really.”

A star-shaped metal plaque was also taken from a memorial bench dedicated to Matthew Hunt, who died aged 17 in 2009 following a brain tumour.

Matthew’s dad Ian said: “Obviously it was of sentimental value, it was our son who we lost nine years ago. So that’s emotional and also there’s a bit of anger because it’s been done.

“That sort of thing shouldn’t happen anywhere but it seems to be worse somewhere like a graveyard.

One of the stolen crosses
One of the stolen crosses

“It’s caused a lot of upset.”

Mr Hunt said he does not expect the plaque to be returned, but the family are hoping to replace it.

Matthew’s twin sister is due to get married in August, so they are hoping to replace it before then.

Mr Hunt said he believes these kinds of thefts are not a new thing, and ornaments have been taken previously, but nothing of this size has been taken up until this point.

A memorial bench to Matthew Hunt in St Clements Church graveyard - the metal star plaque was stolen from the bench last month. Photo: SUBMITTED.
A memorial bench to Matthew Hunt in St Clements Church graveyard - the metal star plaque was stolen from the bench last month. Photo: SUBMITTED.

To report information about the thefts, contact PC Jonathan Chandler at Downham Police Station on 101.

A memorial bench to Matthew Hunt in St Clements Church graveyard - the metal star plaque was stolen from the bench last month. Photo: SUBMITTED.
A memorial bench to Matthew Hunt in St Clements Church graveyard - the metal star plaque was stolen from the bench last month. Photo: SUBMITTED.


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