Widow’s heartache as raiders strike at cemetery

How could they? Gladys Harding with a treasured picture of her hubby Jack
How could they? Gladys Harding with a treasured picture of her hubby Jack

A WIDOW was heartbroken when thieves twice stole from her husband’s grave.

Gladys Harding, 76, was left in tears at the theft of lanterns from hubby Jack Harding’s resting place in Rastrick Cemetery.

“What kind of people would do this?” she asked. “I’m devastated. I hope they rot in hell.”

Mr Harding died aged 78 last September in Calderdale Royal Hospital.

He is fondly remembered by all his family since his death after a knee operation.

Gladys said: “Jack was such a lovely man – a real comedian. People called him the gentle giant.

“We would have celebrated our diamond wedding this year so it’s still very emotional for me.

“I don’t want this to happen to other families.”

Mrs Harding and her daughter, Julie, had gone to visit the grave when they noticed two lanterns were missing.

Julie said: “We had put them there because we didn’t want Dad to be in the dark.

“I had to stay with Mum for a few days afterwards because she was so upset.”

On a later visit to the grave the couple found that raiders had struck again, this time taking another solar-powered light.

Julie said: “It was the only grave up there with a light, so you’re left feeling like we were asking for it.”

However the Hardings are not the first family to have had graveside items stolen.

“A couple were there who told me they were tending their son’s grave and ceramic bowls filled with flowers had been taken,” said Julie. “It’s disgraceful.”

But the thefts will not stop the Harding family from decorating Jack’s grave.

“We are going to get more lights and cement them in to make sure they can’t be moved,” said Julie.

Police said:

Have you had a simlar experience? Should more be done to secure cemeteries? Email: Yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk