SPIDERMAN and Stormtroopers turned up for the funeral of Jake Taylor, 11, who drowned while on holiday in France.
The “beautiful and very special family lad, who was caring, loving and compassionate – but also comical too” was carried to Chanterlands Avenue Crematorium by a horse-drawn hearse in a Star Wars coffin.
The spectacular procession was led by a Princess Leia inspired funeral director, and alongside were well-known superheroes including Captain America.
Hundreds of people, including Jake’s family and his young school friends, teachers and even people Jake had never met, dressed in Star Wars t-shirts with his picture on the front and name on the back.
They had gathered on Monday afternoon to celebrate the life of a “lad of lifetime”, from Gipsyille, Hull, after his life was tragically cut short when he drowned while on a family holiday in France on August 22.
Everyone fell silent as Jake’s procession swept up the drive, with his devoted parents, Lance and Hannah following on foot, alongside two of Jake’s four brothers, Connor and George, who all wore their matching “Disney tribe” t-shirts which they had worn on their visit to Disneyland Paris – the day before Jake died.
‘LAD OF A LIFETIME’
A Million Dreams from the Greatest Showman played as mourners filled the large chapel, with many more stood outside paying their respects.
Although it would be heartbreaking, Jake’s devoted parents Lance and Hannah were determined his funeral would pay tribute to his life – which was described by funeral celebrant Michael Anderson as being “full of love and precious family time”.
He told mourners that Jake touched the lives of everyone he met, and said he had a “smile to light up any room”.
Telling the story of Jake’s life, he said: “Jake was a great lad and had a good sense of humour as he was a lad who just loved practical jokes flying back and forth.
“And he would generally be right in the thick of it whilst giving and taking it in equal amounts.
“He was an amazing son with piercing blue eyes and eyelashes that any lady would be so very proud of, that would melt your heart in less than a heartbeat.
“Jake never had to be told off as he was so good and thoughtful.
“Jake had impeccable manners and was always so full of love and devotion for his mam and dad, a rare young man who showed his love so openly with his amazing ‘Jake cuddles’ and the words of ‘I Love You’ willingly given at every available opportunity – that will be his legacy to his family as he truly is one of a kind.”
Recalling school life, Mr Anderson said Jake was a “real asset” to Eastfield Primary School, with his loving and caring nature shining through “like a Beacon to all and sundry”.
The celebrant also recalled memories of family holidays in Devon and Cornwall, and said Jake would also spend hours on his Xbox while talking on his phone to best friend Jack, and could often be found eating anything “cheese” related.
Jake had impeccable manners and was always so full of love and devotion for his mam and dad, a rare young man who showed his love so openly with his amazing ‘Jake cuddles’
Funeral celebrant Michael Anderson
Heartbreakingly, Mr Anderson said Jake was “having the time of his life” when his life was tragically cut short in France.
Although the funeral was a celebration of life, Mr Anderson did open up about Jake being found unconscious while on a family holiday, and paid tribute to the British medics who were on holiday with their own families at the time who tried for two hours to help save him, before he was airlifted to hospital.
He said: “Jake was found unconscious whilst on holiday, where British paramedics, including Becky who was an absolute angel and a doctor who was simply amazing, worked on him for two hours.
“Jake was then airlifted to a hospital in Paris. Two holiday reps then drove Lance and Hannah to hospital where their beloved son Jake had waited for them to be with him once again, where he then sadly but peacefully passed away.
“His mam and dad were with him when he left this world, and the rest of you were in his heart, right by his side until the very end, just as Jake would have wanted.”
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Jake is thought to have got into difficulty swimming in a lake at La Croix due Vieux Pont while on a Venue Holidays break with his family.
The incident happened at about 6.30pm local time on Thursday, August 22.
Dozens of people rushed to help the boy when he was pulled from the water at a man-made pool.
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