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World will miss my sister's kindness, mourners told at bomb teen's funeral

By Eleanor Barlow

A 14-year-old girl killed in the Manchester Arena bombing would have wanted people to love and not hate following her death, her brother said at her funeral.

Mourners wore bright colours as they turned out to pay their respects to teenager Nell Jones exactly a month after the terror attack which killed 22 people.

Men wore pink ties for the service, described as a celebration for her life, at St Michael and All Angels Church in Middlewich, Cheshire, yesterday.

Some of her friends also carried pink flowers.

Her brother Sam described Nell as "kind, caring, loving, confident and clever".

He said: "Her kindness is something that this world will be a much worse place without. In fact, all things will be worse without Nell.

"But if everyone here tells someone about her spirit, her determination, her love, her kindness, then she will never be too far away."

He said his younger sister would be "overwhelmed" to see the number of people present.

He added: "She also wouldn't want you to cry that she's gone, she would want you to smile because you knew her.

"She wouldn't want you to hate because of what's happened, she would want you to love and make it better again."

A message was read from Nell's friend Freya Lewis, who also attended the Ariana Grande concert and remains in hospital having suffered fractures, lacerations and burns. Freya's sister Georgia, who read the message, said her sister wished "with all her heart" she could have been at the funeral.

In the statement, the 14-year-old credited her friend with passing on her "strength and bravery" to her.

She said: "I was so lucky to share Nell's last night, she was the happiest I have ever seen her."

She stated as the pair left the concert, they had said "I love you" to each other.

In the message, Freya wrote: "I will always love you Nell and I will never forget you."

Other friends also paid tribute to Nell during the service, as well as her headteacher Dennis Oliver, who said that staff and students at Holmes Chapel High School had all come together to support each other since the tragedy. He said: "Today we say goodbye, but we will never forget that she is one of us."

Nell's coffin, decorated with pink flowers, was carried into the church to Ed Sheeran song Photograph.

The congregation was told the singer, who was one of Nell's favourite musicians, had sent flowers after her death.

Belfast Telegraph


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