|Alice Gross Funeral To Be Held Today|
Family and friends to say goodbye to murdered teenager
The funeral of murdered teenager Alice Gross will take place this morning (Wed 23rd October).
It will be a private affair for family and close friends only.
The procession has this morning made its way past the Hanwell Clock Tower - a focal point for community grief.
Alice's funeral will be a humanist celebration, conducted by Caroline Black for the British Humanist Association. It will be full of music, with videos of Alice playing and singing songs she wrote herself. Tributes will be made by her teachers, parents Rosalind Hodgkiss and Jose Gross, and sister, Nina Gross.
The coffin has been painted by Nina, Alice's Grandmother, Anne Hodgkiss, and family friend, Carole McCourt, with a meadow scene that captures Alice's love of nature, which also depicts her three cats, Lottie, Louis and Pattie and her dog, Peggy.
Mourners will sing 'You are my Sunshine' and further musical tributes will be made by her music teachers, past and present, including 'Home' by Gabrielle Aplin, 'The Call' by Regina Spektor , 'Touch the Sky' from the film 'Brave' and the violin piece 'Ashokan Farewell' by Jay Ungar.
Alice's Grandfather will read the poem 'Surprised by Joy' by William Wordsworth, written at the loss of his own daughter.
The teenager disappeared on August 28th and it was a month before specialist teams found her body, hidden under logs in the River Brent.
The prime suspect Arnis Zalkalns was found dead in Boston Manor Park on October 4th.
Alice's disappearance sparked an outpouring of love and support throughout Hanwell and Ealing. Members of the community put up posters and later yellow ribbons throughout the borough - a sign of hope for her safe return.
At the request of the family those yellow ribbons were taken down - but a shrine to Alice - the musically talented Brentside High School pupil - remains at Hanwell's Clock Tower, with bouquets of beautiful flowers.
Friends of the Gross family ask everyone to respect their wishes today and allow them to say goodbye to their daughter privately.
A public memorial ceremony for Alice will take place on Sunday, 2 November at Greenford Town Hall as an occasion for the family to thank all the local people whose outpouring of support and grief has touched them very deeply.
The Gross family has set up a tribute page with Youth Music - a charity that works with disadvantaged children in memory of their musically gifted teenage daughter.
Donations can be made at alice.poppymadeleine.gross.muchloved.com/
Books of condolence are available at Ealing Town Hall and Hanwell Library and flags at Ealing Town Hall will be flown at half-mast today.
23rd October 2014