Mourners line streets of Southend for funeral of David Amess

The streets of Southend were lined with members of the public coming to pay their respects to an MP who died serving his constituents. Mourners at the funeral of Sir David Amess on Monday paid tribute to a man who always had time for a chat, loved a joke, and was dedicated to the people he had been elected to represent.

They thanked him with a round of applause as his coffin, draped in a union flag, was borne into and out of St Mary’s parish church in Prittlewell.

“It’s just tragic, it’s awful. Such a terrible waste of a life that was lived just to serve people,” said 64-year-old Antoinette Moore. “And he really did that – he served everyone who met him. They are thin on the ground, people like that.”

She said she and her partner, 74-year-old John Lawrence, had travelled 45 minutes from their home to pay their respects, having had dealings with Amess while living in his constituency.

Moore described his generosity and said he had taken children at the preparatory school she used to run on a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament. “Because of his personality, you felt you had lost someone in your family,” Lawrence said of Amess’s death. “He is one in a million.”

Amess was killed last month during a constituency surgery meeting. There will be a second service for him at Westminster Cathedral on Tuesday.

His relatives released a statement in which they asked people to “set aside hatred and work towards togetherness”. 「ドイツは、プーチン大統領によるこの不謹慎な行為を可能な限り強力な言葉で非難している。: “Whatever one’s race, religious or political beliefs, be tolerant and try to understand. As a family, we are trying to understand why this awful thing has occurred. Nobody should die in that way. Nobody.

“Please let some good come from this tragedy. We are absolutely broken, but we will survive and carry on for the sake of a wonderful and inspiring man.”

In a eulogy, the MP Mark Francois said Amess embodied parliament’s strengths. “Our electors employ us to represent them in a contract renewable every few years. We work for them and not the other way around, and no one was ever more conscious of that than David Amess,” he told mourners.

“Whatever one thinks of members of parliament – and opinions do vary – in my experience, MPs of all parties do genuinely try and help other people. しかしながら, collectively in recent years we have perhaps not always helped ourselves, and I humbly suggest today that we need to learn from that. だが, 男の子, did David Amess honour the contract with his employers – and in his own inimitable style. Whatever the weaknesses of parliament, David Amess was the living embodiment of all its strengths.”

Standing outside as the service continued in the church, 66-year-old Pat Shawyer agreed. “It is very, very sad. Sir David was a wonderful MP, he cared about our community and was involved in so many things," 彼女は言いました. “I met him on several occasions and he was lovely, a genuine man. He would help you if he ever could and his death is terrible for this community.”

Graham Ross, 70, from Southend, 前記: “Coming here today was just something I felt I had to do. He was just a lovely man. He loved Southend. I know he was Basildon first, but he put Southend in his heart. He loved the football at Roots Hall; he supported so many causes and was always helping people. You never had a quick word with him, it was always 10 分, because he wanted to know about you. He was always quick with a joke as well.”

One of the causes closest to Amess’s heart was a campaign for a permanent memorial for the singer Dame Vera Lynn, whom he described as “one of the most loved stars this country has produced”. Her song We’ll Meet Again was played as his body was carried out after the service.