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Aug 7 2003
Quiet dignity for Dr Kelly
By James Hardy, Political Editor

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

At a private burial in a country church, the Government scientist who liked to be called Dai because of his Welsh roots was finally freed from the glare of publicity which claimed 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 he loved.

BURIED: Dr David Kelly

The casket bore white flowers and a blue cushion with a red ribbon. Dr Kelly's widow Janice, 58, and the couple's three daughters, 30-year-old twins Ellen and Rachel, and 32-year-old Sian, slowly followed the cortege into the 13th century church.

They passed more than 40 wreaths to join a congregation of 160 mourners.

Among them was Deputy PM John Prescott, representing the Government in the absence of Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon.

Lord Hutton, the judge who will lead the inquiry into the 59-year-old weapons expert's apparent suicide, also attended.

A Union flag flew at half-mast in the sunshine as the funeral took place away from the media gaze, at the request of the family.

The service opened with the Welsh hymn Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah.

A reading from the Bible, Matthew Chapter 5, came later, including 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 of St Mary's, the Rev Roy Woodhams, said: "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." A prayer from Dr Kelly's Baha'i faith - founded in Iran - was also part of his farewell. He was buried in the graveyard of St Mary's.

Visible just over a mile away was Harrowdown Hill, where his body was found with his left wrist slashed on July 18.

The Ministry of Defence scientist had been outed as a mole over the "sexing up" allegations surrounding a Government dossier on Iraq's weapons.

Dr Kelly's close friend, former Panorama journalist Tom Mangold, said: "It was a very dignified service, it was a beautiful service.

"It was quiet, it was gentle and in every way reflected the man."

He said the family were "pale and stoic" during the service, except for Rachel who cried throughout

And Mr Mangold said No 10 spokesman Tom Kelly's "Walter Mitty" description of the scientist. was "totally, totally untrue".

He said: "This is a guy who went round in Clarks shoes, NHS specs and Barbour clothes. He had no illusions about himself."

Last night, for the grieving family, a chapter was closed. For the Government, which authorised the naming of Dr Kelly, the crisis moved into a new phase.

©Copyright 2003, Mirror (UK)

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