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Poignant farewell at Pc Fiona Bone's funeral in Manchester

As the funeral cortege for Fiona Bone arrived at Manchester Cathedral spontaneous applause rang out and a lone Scottish bagpiper played a mournful lament for the second policewoman killed in a gun and grenade attack in Manchester.

A large portrait photo of Pc Bone was carried into the cathedral, followed by her coffin, draped in black cloth and carried by six of her police colleagues.

Pc Bone's parents, Paul and Jane, sister Vicky, partner Clare Curran and her daughter Jessie led remaining mourners into the church for the start of the service.

Again hundreds of police and public gathered outside at the rear of the cathedral to stand in silence listening to the service relayed on loud speakers.

It was the second consecutive day that Deansgate had come to a standstill following yesterday's service for her fallen colleague Pc Nicola Hughes, 23.

The officers died together in the line of duty after being lured to their deaths when they responded to a reported burglary at a house in Hattersley, Tameside, on September 18.

Pc Bone lived in Sale, Greater Manchester, with her partner Clare Curran, with whom she was planning a civil partnership, and Clare's daughter Jessie.

She was said to be "so happy" in life, planning their wedding and on the day she died had spoken to Miss Curran to discuss invites to send to guests.

The officer's family, who live on the Isle of Man, paid tribute to "a wonderful daughter, sister, partner and parent".

Senior representatives from all 43 forces in England and Wales joined Pc Bone's family and friends and her colleagues from Tameside division among the 1,000 mourners inside Manchester Cathedral.

The cortege was led by six horses from GMP's mounted unit followed by the hearse, bearing the coffin, which was shrouded in black cloth. On top of the coffin was Pc Bone's hat and gloves.

Officers and the public all bowed their heads as the cortege passed and ripples of applause broke out along the route.

The coffin was taken in to Brahms's Herzlich Tut Mich Verlangen.

The first hymn sung was The Lord's My Shepherd I'll Not Want.

Bible readings were given by Pc Bone's colleagues Inspector Jane Brown and Pc Tracey Miskell.

GMP chaplain Charles Nevin read the poem She Is Gone, while mezzo-soprano Iona Fisher gave a performance of Beyonce's version of Ave Maria.

Police and the public gathered at the rear of the cathedral to listen to the service broadcast on loudspeakers.

Sergeant Stephen Miskell told the congregation that Pc Bone was "a perfect police officer".

He said: "Fiona was wonderful. She was wonderful at keeping colleagues' spirits high with her bubbly nature. She was wonderful about caring for others.

"Fiona represented the best that humanity has to offer the world but that makes her loss even greater."

Pc Bone joined Greater Manchester Police as a volunteer special constable in November 2005 and became a full-time officer in 2007 posted to Tameside division.

The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy, said: "It is clear that helping people and building community spirit was at the heart of what she did.

"In the force she quickly gained recognition as an officer who set the highest standards for herself and others.

"Like most police officers Fiona absolutely loved her job and felt privileged to serve the public."

He said she had received a chief superintendent's commendation in 2009 for her outstanding contribution in an investigation into a series of burglaries and robberies which secured convictions.

"Fiona treated everyone with dignity, compassion and respect whatever their background," he said.

She "undoubtedly had great promise for the future".

Like Pc Hughes, Sir Peter said her "great sacrifice" would not be forgotten.

When the hour-long service came to a close, police officers again formed a guard of honour as Pc Bone's coffin was carried outside, with her hat, black leather gloves and Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal on top.

Again a piper played a lament - Pc Bone, though born in England, had strong connections north of the border and regarded herself as Scottish.

Her funeral was attended by fellow Scot Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United, who was among the 1,000 mourners inside the cathedral.

She met her partner Clare Curran through a mutual friend and they fell in love. Pc Bone moved into the house Ms Curran shared with her daughter Jessie, who regarded her as her second parent.

Ms Curran then asked Pc Bone, often referred to as "Fi" during the service, to be her life partner and the two became engaged and were planning a civil partnership.

Pc Bone had found "love in Clare and fulfilment in Jessie", mourners heard.

Her partner and her daughter held hands as the coffin was placed in the hearse while Pc Bone's sister and parents stood close-by, stony-faced, never taking their eyes off the coffin.

As the hearse pulled away, followed by the other cars in the cortege, officers stood to attention and bowed their heads. The silence was pierced by applause from members of the public who had come to pay their respects.

Pc Bone will have a private burial in Scotland, attended only by close family and friends.

Reflecting on Pc Bone's life, Mr Nevin said her job was her "life's vocation".

Born in Norwich and then raised in Scotland from the age of 15 months, she always claimed she was a Scot just like her mother and sister.

The family moved to the Isle of Man in July 1997 and Pc Bone completed her sixth form studies there before she went to the University of Central Lancashire to study film and media.

She decided on a change of career and moved to Manchester and got a job in insurance before her attraction to the police service began.

Mr Nevin said that three years ago she met Clare through a mutual friend and they fell in love.

She also loved greatly and was very proud of Clare's five-year-old daughter Jessie.

They moved in together at Christmas and on February 29 this year Clare asked her to become her life partner.

Following their engagement they were intending to marry next May.

Mr Nevin said: "Fiona did not just find love in Clare, she also found fulfilment in Jessie.

"She became a real parent for Jessie and took her bike riding, swimming and climbing.

"Fiona used to say that picking up Jessie from school and giving her a hug was the very very best part of her day."

The mourners were told Pc Bone was an active person who enjoyed rugby, keep fit, walking and camping.

She was "a happy person whose love of life and open personality endeared her to those around her".

She was close to her parents and sister.

"When she visited the island (Isle of Man) the first thing she would say was 'mum, I need a hug'," he said.

"The family will miss her hugs always.

"Fiona was and will always remain a special person who was loved by her family, fulfilled in her relationship with Clare, delighted in her parenting of Jessie and proud to be doing the job that she loved - being a police officer."

The chaplain added: "On that quiet estate in Mottram two weeks ago, God's heart broke as Fiona and her colleague, Nicola, were shot and killed."

Belfast Telegraph


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