Michael Howard pays to restore Swansea cemetary

Cash offer: Michael Howard

Cash offer: Michael Howard

Michael Howard has helped to pay for the restoration of a vandalised Jewish cemetery in Swansea, where his father was buried.

The United Synagogue’s burial team was asked to restore Townhill Cemetery, which is now closed, by Mr Howard and the local Jewish community.

Mr Howard, the former Conservative leader, offered to pay for some of the team’s expenses and asked for his father, who was buried there in 1966, to be moved to Bushey cemetery to join his late mother.

The team spent two days restoring knocked-over stones and cutting back overgrown brambles in the cemetery, which is not affiliated to the US.

Melvyn Hartog, head of burial services at the US, said: “The restoration of a non-US cemetery is not something we would normally get involved in but we felt we couldn’t leave the cemetery in such disrepair.”

Mr Howard said: “I cannot speak highly enough about the way in which the US burial staff conducted themselves and the work they carried out.

“The cemetery was in a state of disrepair but after the team’s extremely hard work, this very old and important Jewish cemetery has been restored to a much more dignified condition.

“I would also like to personally thank Melvyn Hartog and his team for bringing my father back to London to rest in peace alongside my recently departed mother.”

    Last updated: 4:47pm, December 17 2009