Funeral for 'brave rock of a woman'

Blackpool Citizen: Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable, Sir Peter Fahy, salutes, as the coffin of Pc Fiona Bone is carried past Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable, Sir Peter Fahy, salutes, as the coffin of Pc Fiona Bone is carried past

Fallen police hero Fiona Bone was kind and gentle but also a "brave rock of a woman", mourners at her funeral heard.

The 32-year-old officer was planning her wedding and had become the adopted parent of her partner's five-year-old daughter, when her life was violently taken, the service heard.

Again, police and public turned out in force to pay their respects at Manchester Cathedral to the officer who died in a gun and grenade attack in Hattersley, Tameside, on September 18, along with colleague Pc Nicola Hughes, 23, who was laid to rest on Wednesday.

Sergeant Stephen Miskell told mourners: "Fiona was wonderful. She was wonderful at keeping colleagues' spirits high with her bubbly nature. She was wonderful about caring for others. Fiona represented the best that humanity has to offer the world, but that makes her loss even greater.

"Fiona was a woman of many contrasts. She was a calm and a gentle little bookworm, and yet a strong, brave rock of a woman. It gives me faith when I see how her death has touched communities everywhere."

Earlier, the main thoroughfare in Manchester city centre was lined with several thousand officers from across the UK and members of the public to see the passing cortege.

It was the second consecutive day the heart of Manchester had come to a standstill for the funeral of a police officer who died serving the city.

As the funeral cortege arrived at the cathedral spontaneous applause rang out and a lone Scottish bagpiper, Detective Sergeant Jim Gray, a fellow officer with Greater Manchester Police (GMP), played Flowers of the Forest, a traditional funeral lament.

Sir Alex Ferguson was among the 1,000 mourners inside for the officer who was brought up in Scotland and always regarded herself as Scottish.

When the hour-long service came to a close, police officers again formed a guard of honour as Pc Bone's coffin was carried outside, with her hat, black leather gloves and Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal on top. Pc Bone will have a private burial in Scotland, attended only by close family and friends.

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