A FAMILY'S dream of having a keepsake bracelet of their nan's fingerprints were derailed by an error by the undertakers.

Victoria Knowles wanted a memory of her beloved nan, Thelma Weston.

She had arranged with Shanklin Co-operative Funeralcare to have her fingerprints engraved on a piece of jewellery.

But due to a mix up, with as many as five staff members each thinking another had done it, she has now lost out on her final memory.

The company has admitted its error and offered its apologies, but Mrs Knowles was unsatisfied with the alternatives offered initially, which included a piece of jewellery containing Thelma's ashes.

"Surely, you don't cremate a body before everybody has checked they have what they need," said Mrs Knowles.

"I've been so angry and upset about it. I specifically said from day one, I want the fingerprints taken.

"I went through the book and picked out a bracelet. Four or five times, I asked if the fingerprints had been taken, and they said sure, no problem.

"Then the funeral happened, and they called me out of the blue and told me the news.

"They've refunded the bracelet and offered me a piece of jewellery with her ashes in it.

"No, I think that's really creepy, that isn't what I asked for.

"Then they cheekily offered me £200 compensation initially, for a charity of my choice.

"We're not talking about someone messing up some flowers here, or forgetting a hymn, or getting the music wrong.

"It's something I can never get back. I want to put this out there so it could never happen again. It's just awful. My mum is horrified."

In a letter to Mrs Knowles, Southern Co-operative said the investigation had brought to light a gap in their process which needs to be addressed, to prevent a similar issue happening in future.

A spokesperson said: "Our colleagues always do their best to provide the best care, support and experience for those we care for.

"Unfortunately, on this occasion we did not fulfil this and are extremely sorry for any distress we may have caused.

"We have offered compensation and jewellery alternatives, including creating a bracelet out of her grandmother’s ashes or using a fingerprint from an old belonging, but we understand that this cannot make up for our mistake.

"We have spoken to Victoria who has been reassured by proposals to amend our processes.

"We will be working with her to find a suitable final resting place to remember her grandmother."