Emotional farewell at funeral of Emily Gardner at Gloucester Cathedral
Close to a thousand people lined the streets around Gloucester Cathedral and clapped as Emily Gardner’s coffin was led away from her funeral in a white horse-drawn carriage this morning.
The 14-year-old was killed in a speedboat accident in Devon earlier this month.
Family and friends, including hundreds of fellow pupils from Chosen Hill School in their uniforms, attended the service.
Afterwards, four white doves were released by her family outside the cathedral before mourners gave Emily a final round of applause.
The song Angels by Robbie Williams was played while her white coffin, covered in pink flowers, was carried into the cathedral.
Emily’s 11-year-old sister Katie bravely read out a poem which she penned with her brother Todd, eight.
Afterwards, their dad Clive paid tribute to his ‘perfect daughter’ who he had an exceptionally close bond with.
Emily, from Abbeymead, became trapped underneath a speedboat after it overturned in Brixham Harbour while on holiday with a friend’s family on Saturday, May 2.
Her mum Debbie said: “Life was full of excitement and thrills to ‘our Em’.
“Her favourite trips were to theme parks like Alton Towers and we were lucky to experience some great holidays with her.
“She was always laughing and her laugh would last a whole day sometimes if she found something funny. “Everywhere she went she would smile and would stand tall and proud in anything she did.”
The congregation heard that Emily was a happy, smiley, bubbly, lively young girl who was always laughing.
She had many hobbies including tap dancing and ballet and was a “social butterfly” with many friends.
The Reverend Susan Cooke said: “It has been a privilege to spend time with Emily’s family and hear the huge love they have for her.
“It is a comfort for the family to know that Grandma is looking after her now.”
Emily loved school and had applied to become a prefect.
In a tribute read out at the funeral, her cousin Tara said: “Emily was beautiful in so many ways.
“She would be the first person to ask if everyone was ok. Emily loved having a laugh to the point where she couldn’t stop.
“She was such a respectful young girl and well behaved. Heaven has gained another angel taken too soon.”
Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol was played as Emily’s coffin was carried out of the funeral.