Emotional tributes to schoolgirl

EMOTIONAL tributes have been paid to a 12-year-old schoolgirl who died from a rare blood disorder.More than 200 mourners gathered yesterdayfor the funeral of Victoria Noble, who was a pupil at Northgate High School in Ipswich.

EMOTIONAL tributes have been paid to a 12-year-old schoolgirl who died from a rare blood disorder.

More than 200 mourners gathered yesterdayfor the funeral of Victoria Noble, who was a pupil at Northgate High School in Ipswich.

Victoria, from Ipswich, died in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, on January 30 after being taken ill earlier in the week. It is believed she died from a congenital blood disorder.

Family and friends filled St John's United Reform Church in Cowper Street to hear the service, led by the Rev David Atkinson.

Tributes included those from her primary school friend Olive Merrill and Andrew Pettitt, head of year eight at Northgate.

Mr Pettitt, a science teacher, said Victoria had started at Northgate 18 months ago and had settled well into her tutor group and year.

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"She was incredibly kind and gentle, and was always willing to help, whether by explaining something in a lesson, by holding a door, by tidying up after a rehearsal or by listening to a friend," he said.

"Her smiling face was a window onto the girl inside. She was one of the nicest people you would ever have the chance to meet. This can be seen by the deep affection that everyone, not just her close friends, had for her."

He added her death "has hit the school very hard" and pupils and staff "would miss her greatly". Her friends were told at a year eight assembly last week to focus on their good memories of Victoria.

"One of my strongest is Victoria coming back from a wind band rehearsal with some friends at the end of lunch break," said Mr Pettitt.

"I can't even tell you when this was, it was just the image that came to me when I heard the news of her death.

"They dashed across to the lower school, clutching their instrument cases tightly, laughing their heads off, as they ran as fast as they could so that they wouldn't miss registration."

Mr Pettitt also read out friends' thoughts and memories of Victoria and finished with a poem Victoria had written earlier this year.

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