A GRIEVING couple have criticised Taunton Deane Crematorium for removing their home-made memorial to their child who was miscarried.

Tom Sparks and his fiancee Rebecca Crosby placed the wooden tribute with a crucifix on a communal grave for miscarried babies shortly after they lost their child in June at six weeks and two days gestation.

But next time the couple, from Dragon Rise, Norton Fitzwarren, visited the 'crem', the memorial had been removed.

"We put it on the grave to mark where our child is," said Tom. "They moved it without any explanation and we were angry and upset.

"It's as if they've desecrated our child's grave and we told them we're disgusted.

"Their explanation was that it isn't only our child there, but we want to know where our child is buried - when the grass goes back, we won't know where the child is."

A spokesman for the crematorium expressed his sympathy for the couple's tragic loss and said Somerset West and Taunton Council provides a free cremation to parents of those who lose children under the age of 18.

He added: "Where a mother has a miscarriage, liaison with the family regarding the services offered at the crematorium are conducted by the midwives and chaplaincy at the hospital.

"An explanation regarding a communal interment with others, together with the opportunity to have an individual grave is offered to the parents.

"Where parents elect to have their child’s remains interred in a communal grave, these interments take place once a month and the casket will contain the remains of a number of babies.

"Because these graves are common, marking of the grave is not permitted, whereas an individual grave can be marked.

"Often memorials are made and placed upon these communal graves. They can be larger than the grave itself and, as in this case, can encroach upon other graves.

"The unauthorised placing of memorials does cause upset to other parents who do not mark graves within the communal baby burial area.

"Memorials are removed to ensure the nature and ambiance of the memorial garden is preserved and to allow the safe maintenance of the site. There is signage adjacent to the memorial garden requesting that memorials are not placed. "Any memorial removed from the burial area is placed next to the memorial wall within the baby memorial area. There is opportunity to have a baby’s name placed on the memorial wall if parents so wish."