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Desperate measures

Toff to bury his own mother in back garden to save £5,000 on church burial service

Aristocrat's son refuses to fork out the cash, and has started digging a 4ft-deep hole for his recently departed mum

AN aristocrat’s son plans to buy a fridge on eBay to store his dead mum before burying her in his garden to save £5,300.

John Wright, 71, is refusing to fork out the price of a ­church burial service.

John Wright

Solent News & Photo Agency
Grave task … John Wright denounces ‘outrageous’ funeral costs

Instead he has started digging a 4ft-deep hole at his home for his mother, 101-year-old Lady Margaret Johnson, who died on June 3 two years after a severe stroke.

He said: “I’ve checked online and the plot needs to be at least 2ft deep. My mother’s body is at the funeral director’s so I may need to buy a fridge from eBay or the local electrical shop to put in my garage to put it in while I finish digging.”

He began the task at his home in New Milton, Hants, but has been hampered by the hot weather and hard ground.

John planned to give Lady ­Johnson, the wife of late High Court judge Sir William Johnson, a church funeral until undertakers told him the price, including £2,500 to take her to the chapel.

New Milton, Hampshire

Google Street View
Cheap alternative … rather than fork out the ‘enormous’ fees, Mr Wright has started digging at home in New Milton, Hampshire

He said: “There are enormous costs for a funeral. I have been quoted £5,300. I think it’s outrageous. Obviously when people lose someone their minds are in a daze and they really want to get it done.

“People feel under ­pressure and that’s what they exploit.

“I feel as if I am being blackmailed, harassed and intimidated into paying these very high costs.


Expensive service … aristocrat shuns traditional church burial in favour of a spot in his own back yard

“As far as I am concerned the funeral firms pinch and strip every penny out of your pocket. They are just a cartel.”

John added: “This is just pure desperation.

“If a few days ago someone had told me that I would be doing this I would have said they were mad.”

It is legal to bury someone on private land in the UK provided the land owner and the General Register Office have given permission.

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