THEY wanted to pay tribute to their loved ones.
But instead they were confronted by row upon row of upturned headstones in a Huddersfield cemetery.
Now the tears of grieving relatives have turned to anger when they found the stones had been uprooted and laid flat by Kirklees Council officials - working on a new safety code.
Grieving families described the actions as "desecration" and have demanded an urgent apology from council chiefs.
But Kirklees officials remained unmoved.
The Examiner tried to contact officials responsible for the work in Kirkheaton cemetery which has caused mass upset.
But no-one would comment on the move or on the council's failure to inform relatives in advance of the work being carried out.
A council spokesman released a brief statement which said: "We have a database of last known owners and we contact them.
"The test we do will ascertain if there is an immediate safety problem, medium term, or if they are OK.
"If it comes up as an immediate problem the headstone is laid down for safety reasons pending the owners deciding what they want to do.
"These gravestones are not owned by us - they are owned by the family. If they need repair or restoring we will put them in touch with masons etc."