Funeral for six Philpott children killed in Derby fire
- 22 June 2012
- From the section England
Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of six children who died after a fire at a house in Derby.
Jade Philpott, 10, and brothers John, nine, Jack, eight, Jessie, six and Jayden, five, died in the blaze in May and Duwayne, 13, died three days later.
Their parents Mick and Mairead Philpott have been charged with their murder and did not attend the funeral.
The service at St Mary's Catholic Church in Derby started at 11:00 BST and lasted just under two hours.
'Respect' for mourners
Six horse-drawn hearses made their way from the Allenton area of Derby, through the city to the church.
BBC Radio Derby reporter Pamela Gupta was outside the church, where she said people were lined up carrying single yellow roses.
"The family had requested that they wanted people to dress up and be colourful, so people have arrived in brightly coloured clothes and dresses and scarves," she said.
Church bells rang out across Derby as the full requiem mass began with priests greeting the six coffins outside.
Each coffin bore the child's name and family members and friends threw flowers at the coffins as they were carried into the church.
Tributes to children
BBC Radio Derby reporter Victoria Holland was at the service and said the atmosphere was "very sombre".
"Many teachers and friends stood up and gave their memories of the children," she said.
"They described how polite and charming they were."
Prayers were said for the children and for the fire service who tried to rescue them.
A poem read out during the service called Angels on High included the lines:
"And when you have a moment, just close your eyes, for they are all only a breath away, in heaven there are no goodbyes.
"Duwayne, Jade, John, Jack, Jesse and Jayden, in the arms of angels fly away."
Rose petals were thrown at the coffins as they were placed back in the carriages.
A private burial service was held for the children at a cemetery in Chaddesden.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill, from Derbyshire Police, urged people to show respect and restraint to mourners attending the funeral.
More than 300 people attended a community event in June to remember the six children.
The event saw well-wishers joining hands and saying prayers outside the family home.
A collection was also made for a community fund to help pay for the funerals, which has raised more than £11,000.
Derbyshire Police arrested a 45-year-old man on Wednesday in connection with the fire. He was later released on bail.