Bahai News -- This is London - Dr Kelly laid to rest

Grim: police guard the church

Dr Kelly laid to rest

By Patrick Hennessy, Evening Standard
6 August 2003

The man who will conduct the inquiry into the death of scientist David Kelly was there when they buried him in an Oxfordshire churchyard today.

Senior judge Lord Hutton, whose investigation begins in earnest on Monday, joined mourners at St Mary's Church in Longworth.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott represented the government, along with Sir Kevin Tebbit, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defence, where Dr Kelly was employed.

But Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon was absent, having decided to go on a family holiday in the US. The chief mourners were the scientist's family - his widow Janice, 58, eldest daughter Sian, 32, and twins Ellen and Rachel, 30. Only weeks earlier, the Kellys had been at the same church for a much happier occasion - Rachel's wedding.

Respect: a woman carries wreaths

Dr Kelly's coffin, carried by six pallbearers, arrived at the church about eight minutes before the 2pm start of the service.

The service was conducted by the vicar of St Mary's, Rev Roy Woodhams, along Anglican lines but there were also readings from other followers of the Baha'i faith to which Dr Kelly had converted four months ago. Around 40 wreaths were laid near the church gate.

The village of Longworth was sealed off by police as well as the road outside Dr Kelly's house in the village of Southmoor, two miles away.

Following the funeral, Dr Kelly was laid to rest in the graveyard of St Mary's. His family asked for the funeral itself to be as private as possible.

The 160 mourners included film-maker Tom Mangold, a close friend of the dead scientist, who is making a TV film about the events surrounding his death.

After the service he said: "It was a dignified service - quiet, peaceful, in every way it reflected the man."

Earlier Mr Mangold had launched a strong attack on Tom Kelly, the Prime Minister's official spokesman, who apologised yesterday for describing Dr Kelly, who was 59 when he died, as a Walter Mitty-style fantasist.

He said: "David was the exact opposite of Walter Mitty. "What I don't understand about Tom Kelly is that if he knew

David Kelly, he should have come out from under his stone and said publicly: 'this is who I am and this is the David Kelly I know.'

"If he didn't know him, what on earth was he doing smearing him? If it's true David had a schizophrenic personality, what was on earth was he doing as the senior adviser to the MoD and the Foreign Office on biological warfare?"

Mr Mangold said today's service would be for a man who "didn't just know the book about biological warfare, he effectively wrote it."

Dr Kelly killed himself after being named as the source of a BBC report which claimed the government had "sexed up" a dossier on the threat posed by Iraqi weapons in the run-up to war.

Mr Blair ordered an inquiry, under Lord Hutton, to investigate the events surrounding the tragedy.

©Copyright 2003, This is London (UK)

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