THE mystery of how a box of ashes came to be washed up on a Christchurch beach remains unsolved.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the Mayor of Christchurch, Lesley Dedman, found the wooden box on the beach at Mudeford while walking her dogs on December 23.

The casket features a brass plaque which bears the name Audrey Maguire.

After taking the box home, Cllr Dedman made a number of enquiries to find out its origin.

After making the discovery, Ms Dedman said she had felt “responsible” for the ashes.

Burials At Sea told her that they had not been involved in scattering the ashes and recommended people use bio degradable urns.

The Reverend Canon Charles Stewart, the priest-in-charge at Christchurch Priory, advised Ms Dedman that she return it to the sea.

Since the article was published in the Daily Echo, Ms Dedman said she has had messages from people far afield as Thailand and the Netherlands.

The scattering of ashes at sea does not require a licence or permission, however, the burial of a body is regulated by the Marine Management Organisation.