The mum of a tragic war hero today hit out at the city council after discovering a large container had been placed on top of her son’s grave – on the anniversary of his death.
Diane Douglas had gone to lay flowers on son Allan’s grave at Dyce Cemetery and was horrified to see the large metal soil box was sitting on his resting place.
Former Northfield Academy pupil Allan was killed 14 years ago while serving as a Lance Corporal with the 1st Battalion The Highlanders in Iraq.
Diane, who makes monthly visits to the grave from her home in Arbroath, was with daughter Donna and son-in-law Paul. Husband Walter did not accompany them as he’s suffering ill health.
The mum was left in tears after seeing the container – and claimed it is the second time this has happened.
Diane said: “I’m still in shock about what I saw and absolutely raging about the fact it has happened again.
“We came a couple of years ago on his anniversary and saw the box, and now we have gone up again and the box is stood on top of everything.
“I know people need to be buried but surely they can read the front of the headstone and realise it is the anniversary and that their relatives would more than likely visit that day.”
Allan was just 22 when he was shot while on routine patrol in Al Amarah in 2006.
Diane added: “I completely broke down when I got home.
“It is a beautiful graveyard but to see that box on top of the grave when I’m trying to pay my respects to my son, it is completely out-of-hand. Upset is not the word to describe how I felt, it was just a massive letdown.”
A city council spokesman apologised for the upset caused – and explained a similar box would have been used when digging Allan’s grave.
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He said: “We were sorry to hear of the upset caused to the family by unavoidable grave digging works carried out at the side of Mr Douglas’ resting place.
“The box in question is a soil box which is required for the digging of the grave. This is common practice in cemeteries across the country and a similar box would have been laid on the adjoining graves when Mr Douglas’ grave was being prepared.
“Our workers have no option but to walk either side of the grave as part of the gravedigging process which takes between two and three days. We would like to reassure the family that the site will be restored once the burial has taken place.”