The family of a Corby woman who died suddenly aged just 21 say they are devastated that her memorial tree is included in the Pokemon Go game as a Pokestop.
Jaqualine Stewart, who was involved in Corby’s CND movement and was a campaigner for women’s rights, died in 1983 just two weeks after she had given birth.
Her baby son Kieran was still in hospital when Jaqualine suddenly suffered an asthma attack and died. She was just 21.
Kieran survived and was brought up by his father Andy. But tragically when Kieran was just eight, Andy was knocked down by a car and spent decades in a coma, before his recent death.
Jaqualine’s family planted a memorial tree in East Carlton Park and installed a plaque, but officials recommended that they kept its location quiet because thieves may steal the brass plaque.
They managed to do so for 33 years, until Monday when they discovered that it had become a magnet for Pokemon Go players after it was named a Pokestop.
Pokestops are places where people can visit to pick up important game features like pokeballs, potions and other items.
It means the memorial is now being visited by dozens of local gamers.
The family has contacted the game’s creators but have had no response.
Jaqualine’s mum Mary Ann Stewart who moved to Corby in the 1960s so her family could work in the steelworks, now lives in Dunfermline. She said: “She’d had my first grandchild two weeks before she died. It’s very upsetting.”
Another family member, Lorraine Stewart, said: “I don’t really understand how Pokemon Go works but I know there’s now a picture of the memorial on it.
“When we put the memorial in, Peter Floody at Corby Council told us that we should try not to put flowers down in case people noticed it and tried to take the plaque.
“So we’ve kept it quiet all these years, but now it’s been included in the game.
“We are just devastated. My mum has not stopped crying. I can’t believe it.
“My nephew Kane has contacted the game creators but they haven’t replied to him.”
The augmented reality game encourages players to use GPS technology to visit various places where they can ‘find’ Pokemon by using their mobile phones. It has taken the world by storm, but many users have got themselves into trouble by trespassing, visiting dangerous places or even walking out into traffic to catch one of the virtual creatures.
Several police forces have issued warnings urging players to take more care when they are taking part in the game.
The Northants Telegraph has contacted the game’s makers Niantic at their California headquarters for comment but they have not yet replied.