Edinburgh mum’s shock as son buried in wrong grave

Mark Wallace, 41, was buried in the wrong plot.
Mark Wallace, 41, was buried in the wrong plot.
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A distraught Edinburgh mother grieving for her late son has said he “deserves better” after a graveyard mix-up meant he was buried in the wrong plot.

The remains of Mark Wallace now face being exhumed with the family having to go through the process of a second funeral before he can be laid to rest.

Margaret Wallace, 66, said she discovered her son dead following a short illness when she visited him at his Pleasance home on June 4.

Mr Wallace, 41, was buried three weeks later at Eastern Cemetery but the error was only discovered following the moving service. He was supposed to be buried in a family lair beside his grandparents.

The graveyard owners are now getting a court order to exhume the coffin and place it into the correct grave.

Margaret told the Sunday Mail: “His death came as a great shock. I could never have dreamt that anything like this would have happened at his own funeral.

“I thought something was wrong as soon as the service was over.

“People look at you as if you are stupid and think it’s your fault when you tell them. They seem to think I should’ve spotted the mistake beforehand.

“I pay the cemetery £25 once a year to look after the lair and have done so for the last 45 years.

“Mark used to take me down to the offices so I could pay it. He deserves better than this.”

It is understood the family has received a letter from Eastern Cemetery Co Ltd asking for the go-ahead to seek an order at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to exhume Mark.

His sister Sharon Wallace, 35, said: “It’s very upsetting for my mum who has lost her only son.

“We didn’t realise the mistake at the time, because we were all so upset at the funeral.

“Mum spotted the error after Mark had been laid to rest and the minister had finished the service. The last four weeks has been very stressful and wearing for us all.”

Owners of Eastern Cemetery have apologised to the Wallace family and admitted a mistake was made.

The company’s managing director Mary Fairbairn said that an employee had been suspended.

She added: “I have engaged a solicitor to seek an exhumation order. The family will be told when this is going to happen.”