A loving father has spoken of his pain after making the heartbreaking discovery that he has been grieving for his late daughter at the wrong grave for 30 years, due to a mistake by staff at the graveyard.
George Salt from Manchester, United Kingdom, tragically lost his daughter of just two days in July 1988 and has regularly visited what he thought was his baby’s grave in the three decades since.
However Salt recently discovered he had been mourning at an empty grave for all that time, after the gravestone was randomly moved without warning to its correct location.
He noticed the change during one of his visits to the Southern Cemetery in Manchester, noticing that the stone was no longer in its usual spot.
“I got to this position here, I just looked down and I was completely gobsmacked,” Salt told BBC News when he discovered the gravestone was missing. “I thought, ‘Where’s the stone gone?’ So I just had a glance around then I noticed so many yards over there, I noticed her name on the stone.”
According to the BBC, the stone had been moved in error in the 1980s to a vacant plot. This meant that for 30 years, when Salt had visited the sit to pay his respects, he had in fact been mourning his child at tan empty gravesite.
To make matters worse, the mistake was only discovered this year when cemetery workers analysed records. They moved the stone to its rightful place this year, along with the trinkets Salt left for his daughter, without telling the distressed father.
“The only thing is I just wasn’t told, I just feel so let down,” he explained. “And also, when you go to a grave you know yourself, you sit and talk and you say what your troubles are and things like that.
“The annoying this is I’m talking to a piece of ground where she isn’t there.”
Manchester City Council has since apologised to Salt for the pain caused and accepted that something went wrong back in the 80s. Because so much time had passed since the error occurred, they weren’t able to offer an explanation as to why the gravestone had been moved in the first place.