Family thank Aberdeen City Council after headstone installed for mum … 41 years after she died

A man today thanked a council after a memorial to his mum was put in place – 41 years after her death.

Elizabeth Kelbie died in 1976 after she was hit by a lorry on Aberdeen’s Great Northern Road.

The 42-year-old was then buried in a common lair, a burial site where more than one person may be laid to rest, at Trinity Cemetery.

Her family have since being battling with Aberdeen City Council for a headstone to be installed.

Her son, Peter Kelbie, 52, is happy there has been a conclusion to the four-decade fight for a memorial.

He said: “We have been looking for an outcome for some time now, so I feel happy in that sense.

“It has been a long journey for us, but we are thankful to Aberdeen City Council for allowing a memorial to be put in place.

“The memorial was paid for by Future Pathways who stepped in – I can’t thank them enough for that.

“It was disappointing the council took the stance they did, but it is good they have given us the permission to have a memorial.”

Future Pathways offers help and support to people who were abused or neglected as children while they were living in care in Scotland.

The non-profit organisation decided to intervene to pay £1,500 for the memorial. Peter and his five siblings were forcibly removed from their family at a young age.

Peter spoke to the Evening Express in 2013, pleading to the council to erect a headstone at the city cemetery.

However, the local authority said at the time, because it was unable to identify the individual graves in a common lair, no memorial rights existed so no headstone or memorial would be permitted.

The council has now reversed its decision and a memorial has been installed.

Peter, who now lives in Gretna Green, said: “It finally gives my mum her dignity which wasn’t there for many years.

“It is going to be great to come up to Aberdeen in the future and have a memorial to go to.

“I still have family in Aberdeen and they will also be happy to have a memorial in place.

“We have been calling for some sort of memorial for some time so this gives us a sense of closure.”

Elizabeth, a housewife, was killed on August 19, 1976, by a reversing lorry on Great Northern Road.

The driver of the lorry was cleared of blame by the police. The force appealed to the public to help identify Elizabeth, who was eventually recognised by a police officer two days later.

In 2013, Peter and his family called on the council to erect a heart-shaped headstone with his mum’s name and date of birth.

Instead the council offered the family a memorial kerb costing £142 with three lines of inscription.

Now the family have a headstone which Peter is happy about.

He said: “The headstone is lovely and the family all seem to like it.

“We have finally got what we wanted on it.

“I must thank the council for finally allowing us to have a headstone for our mum.

“I also want to thank the Evening Express for the coverage in 2013, if it wasn’t for you then I don’t think we would be in this position.”