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Family and friends say farewell to Charlie Harris-Beard
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- Family and friends today bade a sad farewell to Charlie Harris-Beard, the Worcestershire youngster who fought a brave battle against cancer.
#charliesarmy thinking of the family and Charlie at this sad time @CordsforLife #charlie— @RhianBaker1 14 February 2013
Beautiful day for a beautiful boy #Charlie'sArmy sleep tight little man..thinking of you xxx— @ChloejadeJade 14 February 2013
Huge turnout and some lovely words spoken when people gathered to say goodbye to Charlie Harris-Beard this afternoon #CharliesArmy— @stevemather9 14 February 2013
- Click here for Facebook tributes to Charlie.
charlie harris-beard | Tribute Balloon http://t.co/7ayPY0no via @tributeballoon @cordsforlife— @stary666 14 February 2013
The service ended with Kerry singing Mariah Carey’s Hero and Charlie’s coffin was carried out by his parents to Luther Vandross’ Dance With My Father.
“We were so very, very fond of Charlie,” she said. “It was his smile and the light in his eyes that was so visible about Charlie.”
She added: “When there came the moment when he had to let go he was surrounded and held by his loving family as he slipped very peacefully away. His life has inspired many and will continue to do so.”
There was not a dry eye in the church as a family friend Kerry sang Sunshine, the song Fiona used to sing to her son to get him to sleep, and a special song for Charlie.
A chaplain from Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where Charlie was treated, told how everyone at the hospital was “charmed” by him.
Click here for Charlie's story
“Somehow, Charlie’s story and his courage has brought out the best in us and his family has inspired us.”
He said the first time he met Charlie, he found it hard to believe he was ill because he was “so full of life”.
"Had I made a terrible mistake? I thought when I visited his house and saw him tumbling and laughing with his uncle,” said Canon Bell.
“In such a very short life he has captured the emotion and hearts of so many people. I have seldom seen a community so brought together."
Pictures of Charlie were shown on the screens outside the church as people arrived for the service, with music to popular children’s programmes including In the Night Garden and Fireman Sam.
The emotional service was led by Canon Owain Bell, who paid tribute to the youngster.
He said: “Not so very long ago many of us were here for Joe and Fiona’s wedding. That was the day Charlie stole the show.”
Leanne Gardener: Rip Charlie, you were such a brave little soldier, the sky will be bright for you tomorrow night
- Click here for more Facebook tributes to Charlie.
Friends, family and people whose lives he touched, many of whom were dressed in Charlie's favourite colours - purple and blue - wept as his tiny white coffin was carried into the church by his heartbroken parents Fiona Harris and Joe Beard.
It was followed by his favourite remote control toy car, which he rode down the aisle of the same church just three months ago as best man at his parents’ wedding.
HUNDREDS of people gathered at St Mary's Church, Kidderminster, to say goodbye to two-year-old Charlie, who lost his courageous battle with leukaemia.
The church was filled to capacity, while dozens of people listened to the service on two small screens outside.
4:56pm Thu 14 Feb 13
Secret agent 46 says
So many people turned up to say goodbye to the bravest little boy ever.... I was so glad to be apart of it...
RIP little man
Click here for the story of Charlie's brave battle.
Such a dad day in kidderminster today, thoughts are with the Harris-beard family as we say goodbye to a special soldier! R.I.P Charlie! Xxxx— @JadeWhitehouse3 14 February 2013
Thoughts are with the family and friends of Charlie Harris Beard as he is being laid to rest at 3pm, Fly high... http://t.co/bFRqmnhR— @Tinkerbell2604 14 February 2013
Thoughts with the family of Charlie Harris-Beard as they say farewell to Charlie today. @cordsforlife http://t.co/JHzIi1Hk— @OfficialWolves 14 February 2013
HEARTBREAKING: The little lad's coffin