Sophie's life remembered by balloons

GALLERY Nineteen bright orange balloons were released by Sophie Underwood's grieving friends and family on the day she should have celebrated her birthday.

NINETEEN bright orange balloons were released by Sophie Underwood's grieving friends and family on the day she should have celebrated her birthday.

A special ceremony was held in memory of the popular former Copleston High School student on Sunday - the day she was due to turn 19.

Sophie was killed in a road accident in Foxhall Road last November when the car in which she was a passenger collided with an oncoming vehicle.

Since then, her many loved ones have pledged to fight for improvements to the stretch of road where the accident took place, and have also raised £1,300 in her memory.

To celebrate her life, more than 120 people flocked to the Gardens of Remembrance at Ipswich Cemetery where Lt Col Cliff Hurcum from the Salvation Army read a short address.

Today, Sophie's mother Jill thanked those who attended the service.

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She said: “It was lovely - the sun was shining and it was a very special day in recognition of the fact Sophie would have been 19.

“It wasn't a religious ceremony, but a remembrance service and thanksgiving. It was very quiet. There were so many young people there and they listened without making any noise.”

Family friend Sue Carhart organised the balloon release and chose orange to reflect Sophie's bright and colourful character.

The cash raised by the teenager's legion of pals has paid for a book of remembrance, a brick on the walk of remembrance and a vase block in the garden of remembrance.

Sophie, who lived in Foxhall Road and worked at Costa Coffee in Ipswich, leaves her mother, Jill; father, Alex; brother, Ben; and sister, Jess.

Would you like to pay tribute to Sophie Underwood? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk