Derbyshire grandad's 'rude' headstone design rejected by council

This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.

A council is refusing to honour an Ilkeston grandad’s last request after rejecting the epitaph he had planned for his headstone - because it's too rude.

Maurice Brown died after a brave battle with cancer in August. His grandson, Lewis Ryan, found inspiration for what should go on his headstone when he was sorting out Mr Brown's belongings and discovered a poem.

It was written by his grandad and said: "When I am laid to rest with a tombstone upon my chest, the six words I would like to see are 'the little bugger did his best'."

But, when Lewis submitted the Epitaph "the little bugger did his best" to Erewash Borough Council he was distressed to find it wouldn't be allowed.

Lewis, 20, works works at a bar in Eastwood and lives in Ilkeston, had wanted the headstone where his grandad's ashes are buried in Park Road Cemetery.

A man claims that the council is refusing to honour his grandfather’s last request by rejecting is headstone design due to it having a rude word in it. 20-year-old Lewis Ryan, works in bar in Eastwood and lives in Ilkeston. His grandfather recently passed away in August this year from Anapaestic Large Cell Lymphoma Cancer. He says the design he sent off to the council for where his grandfather’s ashes are buried in Park Road Cemetary in Ilkeston were rejected on the grounds of including the word ‘bugger’.

Maurice Brown on the left with wife Gene and son Richard on the right

But Dave Bramwell, the borough council’s head of green space and street scene, said: “We understand the sentiment here and the personal memories involved for the family. However, this is not appropriate language in what is a public cemetery.”

Lewis said: “My grandfather was always joking. He never took anything seriously. He could even joke about the amount of time he had left to live.

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“He was also an avid poem writer and was really proud of where he was from. This is why he wanted to use the word ‘bugger’, because he was proud of his Ilkeston slang heritage.

“The council originally removed the slab to change it, as the plot is a double plot where his wife was already buried.

A man claims that the council is refusing to honour his grandfather’s last request by rejecting is headstone design due to it having a rude word in it. 20-year-old Lewis Ryan, works in bar in Eastwood and lives in Ilkeston. His grandfather recently passed away in August this year from Anapaestic Large Cell Lymphoma Cancer. He says the design he sent off to the council for where his grandfather’s ashes are buried in Park Road Cemetary in Ilkeston were rejected on the grounds of including the word ‘bugger’.

The empty area where the stone should be

“As of now, there is just a slab of stone with nothing on it, and it will stay that way until the council backs down because I’m certainly not going to.

“As far as I see it, this was my grandfather’s final wish. It was what he wanted so I’m going to do it.

“I don’t see why they would reject it. I wouldn’t get offended by what other people wrote on their gravestones."

A man claims that the council is refusing to honour his grandfather’s last request by rejecting is headstone design due to it having a rude word in it. 20-year-old Lewis Ryan, works in bar in Eastwood and lives in Ilkeston. His grandfather recently passed away in August this year from Anapaestic Large Cell Lymphoma Cancer. He says the design he sent off to the council for where his grandfather’s ashes are buried in Park Road Cemetary in Ilkeston were rejected on the grounds of including the word ‘bugger’.

Maurice in the RAF, second from the right in the middle row

To apply for the epitaph, Lewis went to the local stonemason and told them what design he wanted. The stonemason then sent off the design to the Erewash Borough Council.

The stonemason then sent Ryan a message saying that the council has rejected it on the grounds of the word ‘bugger’ not being allowed.

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Ryan continued: “This morning I got in contact with the council who confirmed that.

“This isn’t fair at all. He has served in the RAF for this country and risked his life and the one time he has a request back it gets denied.

“I just want them to back down, because I certainly won’t.”