VIDEO: Council refuses final wish of Derbyshire grandfather to have poem on his headstone

Killjoy town hall chiefs have refused the final wish of a Derbyshire grandfather who wanted to have the words "the little bugger did his best" on his gravestone.

Wednesday, 4th October 2017, 4:47 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 11:15 pm
Maurice Brown died in August.

Before Maurice Brown, 87, died of cancer in August, he wrote a joke poem which he stuck on the kitchen wall for his relatives to find following his death.

The ditty read: "When I am laid to rest, with a tombstone upon my chest, the six words I'd like to see are the little bugger did his best."

Grandson Lewis Ryan, 20, honoured Maurice's final wish and commissioned a stonemason to design a headstone.

Maurice Brown died in August.

The design read: "In loving memory of Maurice Brown. Loving husband, dad and grandad. Born 21st March 1930. Died 4th Aug. 2017. 'The little bugger did his best!' Monty 2017."

But his application to have it put on the grave - also the final resting place for Maurice's late wife Jean, who died in 2014 aged 84 - was rejected by the council.

Officials at Erewash Borough Council said he could not place the stone in Park Road Cemetery, Ilkeston, in case the word "bugger" offended someone.

When Lewis offered to change the word to "bogger" or "beggar" the council also refused.

Maurice's grave is currently lying unmarked as grandson Lewis appeals the council's decision.

Lewis said: "The word in the context it's being used in - it's not used in an offensive way.

"It shows what he was like as a person. Granddad was a joker.

"If you go to the cemetery it can be morbid, but me personally I like the thought of going to the cemetery and seeing this on the headstone.

"It will make it easier and make me happier remembering what he was like.

Maurice Brown died in August.

"He was in the air force so basically he fought for his country so we could have rules and laws like this - I do not understand why his last wish is being refused.

"We're determined to have his final wish fulfilled. We're already looking at exhuming his ashes and having them buried somewhere where his headstone can be placed.

"To be honest, it's so ridiculous I think he'd be laughing his socks off at the fuss that's being made about the word 'bugger'.

"He'd probably say the people blocking this were all daft buggers - and he'd be dead right."

Maurice's grave is currently lying unmarked as grandson Lewis appeals the council's decision.

Maurice, who had a son who passed away in 2012, and three grandchildren, served as a firefighter after leaving the RAF, before turning to photography.

His grave is currently lying unmarked as Lewis, of Ilkeston, appeals the council's decision.