A daughter visiting her parents’ graves was devastated to find her mum’s was so overgrown she could barely see it.  

London-born Sheelagh Thompson’s parents are buried in West Norwood Cemetery — but she can only visit them about twice a year because she lives in Hertfordshire with her husband.  

Her dad Horace Reginald Jackson, known as Regi, fought in the Second World War and worked for London Transport for 30 years. 

He joined the fighting in 1942 and was stationed in India, the UK, Belgium, Holland, and Germany over the following three years.

News Shopper: Horace Reginald Jackson (left) and Mary Elizabeth Jackson (right) Horace Reginald Jackson (left) and Mary Elizabeth Jackson (right)

Her mum Mary Elizabeth Jackson worked in a department store before staying home to raise her two children.  

They both died within five years of each other. Her mum died 41 years ago from diabetes complications when Sheelagh was 16, and her dad passed away after having a heart attack when she was 22.  

Sheelagh, 57, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service how she felt when she saw the graves on August 10.  

She said: “I was angry and upset – you couldn’t even see my mother’s grave. 

“They were both lovely people. They brought us up to be very level-headed and to think of other people and have a bit of respect.  

“They deserve respect, everyone that’s half decent does. The least they could do is keep the graves tidy. 

“There’s no care and attention at all. Where is the respect for these people?  

“There are a few hundred people there whose families have paid for plots, expecting it to be upkept. The council just isn’t bothered.” 

News Shopper: Graves are hidden by growthGraves are hidden by growth

Sheelagh’s husband even tried to trim it down with sheers but it was too overgrown.  

She said: “They seem to trim down all the graves at the front of the cemetery but when you go further down it’s left to overgrow. It’s almost like it’s for show.” 

A Lambeth Council spokesman said: “We apologise for the distress caused in this instance and understand the concerns raised.

“The section that appears to be in the picture is an area of older graves managed primarily for nature conservation. 

“The council clears a path for people visiting the small number of more recent graves in this section under longstanding agreement.” 

He added that West Norwood Cemetery is a site of “major historical, architectural and ecological interest” with work underway on a £6.7million improvement project in partnership with local residents and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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