Bahai News -- icWales - Quiet, gentle service that reflected Dr Kelly's spirit
Quiet, gentle service that reflected Dr Kelly's spirit
Aug 7 2003, The Western Mail
THE grieving family of Dr David Kelly laid the weapons expert to rest yesterday in a moving funeral service.
Minister John Prescott and Lord Hutton, who is leading the inquiry into the scientist's death, joined Dr Kelly's relatives and friends for the ceremony at St
Mary's Church in the Oxfordshire village of Longworth.
His widow Janice, 58, remained composed throughout the 40-minute
service, which reflected her husband's Welsh roots and his attachment to the pacifist Baha'i religion.
The coffin, decked
with a wreath of white flowers and a blue cushion wrapped in a red ribbon, arrived at the church in a hearse about eight minutes before the start of the
service at 2pm.
A lone bell tolled as it was brought up the path to the church, followed by Mrs Kelly, her eldest daughter
Sian, 32 and the couple's twins Ellen and Rachel, 30.
The vicar of St Mary's, the Rev Roy Woodhams, said the pallbearers were
all family members although they were not "blood relations".
Around 160 mourners attended the service, which opened
with the Welsh hymn Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah.
Family friend and former BBC Panorama journalist Tom Mangold, who was
among the first to arrive at the church, said, "It showed how closely he maintained his Welsh roots. He preferred being called Dai to David."
A poem by Wilfred Howe-Nurse - a Longworth poet who used to live at Dr Kelly's house, Westfield, in the village of Southmoor - was
then read to the congregation, said Mr Mangold.
This was followed by another hymn and a reading from the Bible, Matthew
Chapter 5, which included the verse, "How blessed are those of a gentle spirit who shall have the earth for their possession. How blessed are the
peacemakers, God shall call them his sons".
The vicar told the 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 also
included a Baha'i prayer, opening with the lines, "O My God! O My God! Verily thy servant, humble before the majesty of thy divine supremacy".
His family were said to have chosen the prayers from a selection made by followers at his local Baha'i centre in Abingdon.
The service closed with the hymn Dear Lord and Father of Mankind.
Dr Kelly was then buried in the
graveyard of St Mary's, in the shadow of the north side of the 13th Century building.
Visible just over a mile away is
Harrowdown Hill, where Dr Kelly's body was found with his left wrist slashed and an open packet of painkillers by his side on July 18.
Speaking after the service, Mr Mangold said Dr Kelly's family remained "pale and stoic" during the service, with the exception of his
daughter Rachel, who cried throughout.
"It was a very dignified service, it was a beautiful service," he said.
"It was quiet, it was gentle and in every way reflected the man."
Around 40 wreaths were laid to the right of the pathway near the church gate with message cards from well-wishers.
A number of villagers who were not invited to the funeral stood outside the church porch in the blazing sunshine, holding order of service sheets as the church
Dr Kelly's family were determined to keep the service as private as possible and asked for media access to be restricted.
The body of Dr Kelly, 59, was found on July 18 after he was named as the "mole" for a BBC report that the Government had "sexed up" its
©Copyright 2003, icWales (UK)
Following is the URL to the original story. The site may have removed or archived this story. URL:
Return to: UGA Baha'i Association's Home Page
Baha'i News Archives' Index
This page was designed by Sohayl Moshtael suggestions, and news submissions are welcome, and
The content and opinions expressed on this Web page do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by the
University of Georgia or the University System of Georgia.
Page last updated/revised 030807