‘I’m not dead’, says man who found own gravestone

Retired welder sets the record straight after finding headstone at cemetery.

‘I’m not dead’, says man who found own gravestone Paul Reid

A man has insisted he’s alive – despite finding his own gravestone.

The memorial to 75-year-old Alan Hattel has been erected at Newmonthill Cemetery in Forfar, Angus.

He said friends had stopped calling because “people think I’m dead” – but he declared: “I’m still alive.”

The retired welder believes his ex-wife put it up after buying the plot because she wants them to be buried together.

Mr Hattel said: “My phone hasn’t rung for three or four months. I’ve been confused by it all, but now I know why nobody has been calling.

“I don’t even want to be buried – I plan to be cremated.”

Mr Hattel described the whole affair as “like something out of Only Fools and Horses”.

He has spoken to Angus Council and plans to put a cover over the headstone which bears his name.

“I’ve never, ever said I wanted to be buried alongside my ex-wife,” said Mr Hattel, who has two grown-up children with his former spouse.

“We’ve been separated 26 years and there’s no animosity but I’m struggling to take it all in.

“To find out you have a gravestone in a cemetery while you are still alive isn’t something that happens every day.”

A family member at Mrs Hattel’s home told The Courier: “This is a family matter being dealt with privately.”

Angus Council said it was unable to discuss the issue or disclose any information about who purchased the plot as it was a confidential matter.