A TRAUMATISED daughter claims funeral directors failed her family after they demanded £2,600 up-front before they could see her body, and the wrong music was played at her mother’s cremation.

A TRAUMATISED daughter claims funeral directors failed her family after they demanded £2,600 up-front before they could see her body, and the wrong music was played at her mother's cremation.

Mandy Ten Wolde said she was left outraged by Co-op funeral services over its handling of 73-year-old Hilda Harris's cremation.

The Somersham family eventually agreed to pay a £300 deposit, but said Mrs Harris's body was not prepared properly for viewing, with marks over her face and body that were left from a post-mortem examination.

And there was yet more woe at the funeral on December 9, when the priest read out incorrect details and the wrong music was played.

Ms Ten Wolde, of Norwood Road, Somersham, said: "It was like something out of a horror film."

Mrs Harris, who died on November 28, was described as a "lovely person who would help anyone".

The former assembly line and holiday camp worker had suffered from dementia in later years but died after a ruptured ulcer.

Ms Ten Wolde decided to go to Co-op funeral services in Chatteris because the firm had carried out a "really good job" with her father's funeral six years ago when it was known as Landin & Son.

Relatives intended to pay for the funeral using money from an insurance policy but were asked for thousands of pounds they did not have in advance.

Ms Ten Wolde said her mother's arms were "black and blue" following a post-mortem examination. In addition, there were "marks over her face".

"It was horrendous," she said. "We all sat there with our mouths open. We were so distressed.

"I'm hoping they will not put anyone else through this."

Ms Ten Wolde has written formal letters of complaint to the funeral directors and Fenland Crematorium, saying: "We believe you have failed her and the family."

A spokesman for Dignity Funerals, which operates the crematorium in March, said: "We are very sorry that, because of human error, the instructions for the music at the funeral of Hilda Harris were not followed correctly.

"Following the service, a member of our staff apologised to the funeral director and asked for our apology to be extended to the family."

The family also complained that the curtains were not closed around the coffin at the end of the service.

Dignity Funerals added: "We received written instruction from the funeral director not to close the curtains around the coffin at the end of the service and therefore did not do this as we believed we were following the family's wishes."

Co-op funeral services in Chatteris declined the opportunity to comment on Ms Ten Wolde's complaints.