Aug 7 2003

Grief as Kelly is laid to rest

James Hardy

DAVID Kelly was laid to rest yesterday with the quiet dignity that characterised his life.

A single bell tolled as his coffin was carried by six pallbearers into St Mary's Church at Longworth in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside which he loved.

The tragic scientist's widow Janice and daughters Sian, 32, and 30-year-old twins Ellen and Rachel slowly followed.

They made their way past more than 40 wreaths to join a congregation of 160 in the 13th century church.

Among them were Deputy PM John Prescott and Lord Hutton, the judge who will lead the probe into Dr Kelly's death.

A Union flag flew at half-mast as a handful of villagers in the churchyard also took part in the service.

The Reverend Roy Woodham, vicar of St Mary's, told mourners: "We are here because of the tragedy that has taken place. We are not here for the media or to make a political statement or to apportion blame."

The service included a prayer from the Baha'i faith to which he converted four years ago.

But his roots in the Rhondda valley were remembered with the traditional Welsh hymn Guide Me O Thou great Redeemer.

His close friend Tom Mangold said Mrs Kelly and her daughters remained "pale and stoic" throughout. He said: "It was a very dignified service. It was quiet, it was gentle and, in every way, reflected the man."

Dr Kelly committed suicide after being named as the mole in a row between the Government and the BBC over weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

The 59-year-old was interred in the north side of the church.

Just over a mile away was Harrowdown Hill where his body was found on July 18 with his left wrist slashed and a packet of painkillers by his side.

©Copyright 2003, Daily Record (UK)

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