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Comfort for mum of fire victim

PUBLISHED: 15:02 06 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:29 03 March 2010

THE MOTHER of teenager William Stokes who died in a Felixstowe house fire thanked everyone who have paid tribute to her son saying the family were overwhelmed by people's kindness.

THE MOTHER of teenager William Stokes who died in a Felixstowe house fire thanked everyone who have paid tribute to her son saying the family were overwhelmed by people's kindness.

Eve Stokes, 45, from Bawdsey, near Woodbridge, said she hasn't felt strong enough to look at the Boot 50 website -where friends have left tributes - but she was touched by people's thoughts.

William, 19, died after a blaze ripped through the top floor of a house in Holland Road in the early hours of August 29. Another teenager Robert Giles, 18, who lived at the flat, also died after the terraced property in Holland Road was engulfed by flames.

"It is a tragedy that the boys died but people's words and people's letters have been such a comfort," said Mrs Stokes.

"We realise how special both of the boys were. Everybody has rallied round so much, it is a help. We have certainly had letters from a lot of Will's teachers at Farlingaye and his primary School teachers and the caretaker at his primary school.

"A lot of people have really been touched by their lives. These letters echoed the potential that William had: his intellectual potential and the fact that he was such a kind person and it is just such a tragic waste. People's support and kindness has been overwhelming."

She added that the two were good friends. "They obviously spent a lot of time together," she said.

The funeral will be held on Friday 14 September at 2.30 pm at St Mary's Church in Woodbridge, rather than a local church, to accommodate the large numbers attending.

His wake will be at Ramsholt Arms pub in Shottisham where the teenager worked as a barman. Those that knew him will have an opportunity to share their memories and read poems.

Meanwhile the funeral of rock guitarist Robert Giles will take place on Friday where hundreds of mourners are expected to pack St Mary's Church in Coddenham.

Rob, who had moved out of his family home in Coddenham two weeks before the fatal fire, was an aspiring rock star and talented lead guitarist in rock band Boot 50, who had built up a formidable reputation on East Anglia's live music circuit.

The loss of the two teenagers lives came after neighbours awoke at around 3.30 am with the sound of smashing glass as the blaze took hold. Three other people in the house at the time escaped unhurt.

nTo see the tributes to the pair, or to pay your own, go to www.boot50.com

n If you would like to make a donation to The Evening Star's memorial appeal for the bereaved families you can send a cheque to Geraldine Thompson, Editor's Secretary, Fire Appeal, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN. Cheques should be made payable to The Evening Star Fire Appeal.

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