Heartbreak over theft from Hurst Green grave of son (34)

THEFT VICTIMS: Jack and Mary Oddie are appealing for their son's stolen memorial to be returned.
THEFT VICTIMS: Jack and Mary Oddie are appealing for their son's stolen memorial to be returned.

A COUPLE have been left heartbroken after a treasured memorial to their son was stolen from a cemetery.

After their son, Gary, died aged 34, eight years ago, Jack and Mary Oddie had him buried at Hurst Green cemetery in the same grave as his grandparents, William and Martha Clarkson.

THEFT VICTIMS: Jack and Mary Oddie are appealing for their son's stolen memorial to be returned.

THEFT VICTIMS: Jack and Mary Oddie are appealing for their son's stolen memorial to be returned.

They placed the figure of a boxer dog to stand guard on his grave, commemorating the pet that he loved.

When they visited his grave recently they found it had disappeared.

“It had been there for eight years,” said Mr Oddie, of Bushburn Drive, Langho.

“It can’t be worth much to anyone else, but it means a lot to us. It’s sentimental value. You don’t expect something like this to happen in a place like Hurst Green.”

GRAVE GUARD: The boxer dog figure that has gone missing. (s)

GRAVE GUARD: The boxer dog figure that has gone missing. (s)

The missing figure is a boxer dog in a stone-like material, pewter-coloured and about a foot high, in a sitting position.

It may have been stolen for a garden ornament, and the couple are appealing for anyone who may have it to return it to them.

Mrs Oddie put her thoughts down in a poem, which she entitled “The Silent Dog of Hurst Green Cemetery”.

We are printing it here in the hope it may jog someone’s conscience.

The graveyard is a peaceful place to reflect

Full of memories for its visitors, I expect

We come here often with our flowers

It may be sunshine or sometimes showers

For eight longs years we never miss but come along

For it is where our loves ones do belong

With his grandparents our so is buried

And where we place a ‘boxer’ we had carried

With special memories of his beloved dog

But alas, no more, for she’s been taken

And now the gravestone looks forsaken

For it where she once stood proud

Guarding her master without a sound

So please come home, our silent dog.

The couple have reported the theft to police , for whom a spokesman said anyone with any information about the figure could contact them on 101.