FAMILY and friends gathered in St Mary’s Church, Painswick today to share their loving memories and wish a fond farewell to George Holloway.

George, 18, was known by his family as a quiet but surprising teenager.

Proceedings began with the tune The Lord of the Dance, played by the Reading Spring Gardens Brass Ensemble, before the opening hymn Immortal Invisible.

The Rev Mike Holloway led the service, he stated: “That this was a tragedy is absolutely clear, but with George’s death we can turn tragedy into hope.”

George’s mother Rachel had prepared a written tribute, with heartfelt contributions from friends and family, which was read aloud by the Reverend.

“When George was born, he didn’t look at me or my dad, he looked all around the room and at the ceiling, and you could just tell he was always going to keep us on our toes.

“You would often hear his name said with exasperation, but people were often impressed by his antics.”

She told how George was bought a motorbike for his 16th birthday, which was scary as a mother, just like when she helped teach him to drive a car at age 17.

“When he left college he went and found himself his own apprenticeship, at the Court House Manor B&B in Painswick, he would enjoy working there so much that he would often go in on his days off by accident.

“He planned to buy the house that we live in and bought the car he always wanted, an Austin 1300, and a gaming computer, through which he made so many friends from all around the world.

“With George there was always a bright shirt, he was always quiet, sometimes exasperating but always surprising.

“We will all really miss him, we all love him.

“It is not goodbye, but au revoir, until we see each other again.”

After these tributes there was the hymn One More Step Along the World I Go, before Mr Holloway made a speech which reflected how George’s death had shocked the community.

“Like the rest of you, I stand her shocked that we have lost someone so young,” he said.

“It doesn’t seem fair that someone should die at 18, but this is a dangerous road for older people like me, we must think of young people like George not just for what he could have been, but for who he was and what he meant to us.”

Later, there was a reading of John 14. 1-6, followed by The Lord’s Prayer and The Lord of the Dance – which was also the closing tune.

Following the service at St Mary’s, the procession went to Painswick Cemetery on Golf Course Lane.

Here, two white horses wearing yellow and black feathers pulled a carriage bearing George’s coffin into the cemetery.

His coffin was laid to rest, adorned with red roses, and white and purple flowers, accompanied by further music from the Reading Spring Gardens band.

George had attended Christ Church Primary School in Chalford and Thomas Keble School.

He lived in Painswick with his mother Rachel Underhill and younger brother Morris, aged 14.

George also had a sister called Nicola, brother Darren, nephew Alyd, niece Abi and loving dad Ben.

A statement from the family printed on the order of service states: “The family would like to thank you all for attending this service and joining us in remembering the life of George who will be sadly missed by all his family and friends.

“Your thoughts, kind words and shared memories are much appreciated at this difficult time.”

George Ben Holloway, born on April 12 1999, died aged 18 on Saturday, October 21.

He will be dearly missed.