Special services for tragic family

SPECIAL prayers are to be said in church for mum and daughter Joanne and Natasha Coombs after requests by grieving friends.A mass will be said for the pair - both killed by trains, but weeks apart, on the same stretch of railway line near Manningtree station - at the Roman Catholic Church of St James the Less in Colchester.

SPECIAL prayers are to be said in church for mum and daughter Joanne and Natasha Coombs after requests by grieving friends.

A mass will be said for the pair - both killed by trains, but weeks apart, on the same stretch of railway line near Manningtree station - at the Roman Catholic Church of St James the Less in Colchester.

A spokeswoman for the church said there would be two services at which prayers would be said - October 11 at 9.15am and October 14 at 6.30pm - at the church in Priory Street.

She said: “The requests for a mass would have been made by friends of the family or those grieving at this time.

“It is a way in which people in the Catholic church remember those who have died, and their names will be read out and remembered during the services at those times.”

The services would be public and any friends and family could attend.

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Mrs Coombs, 40, died just weeks after the body of her daughter Natasha, 17, was found.

The death is not being treated as suspicious.

Her husband Gary Coombs, 48, had raced to the section of track where his daughter died as he made a frantic search for his wife, only to find police sealing off the scene after the discovery of a woman's body.

Tributes have been pouring in to the couple and their deaths have left the communities where they lived and were well-known devastated.

Mr Coombs described his wife Joanne as “the greatest person anyone could wish to be with” as he battled to come to terms with the third tragedy for the family - the couple are understood to have also lost a daughter Emma, who was believed to have been stillborn..

Pay your tributes to Joanne and Natasha - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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