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STANDING ROOM ONLY AT FUNERAL

PUBLISHED: 14:00 08 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:29 03 March 2010

IN the best traditions of rock, it was standing room only as hundreds came to pay their respects at the funeral of Rob Giles, the talented 18-year-old musician from Coddenham.

IN the best traditions of rock, it was standing room only as hundreds came to pay their respects at the funeral of Rob Giles, the talented 18-year-old musician from Coddenham.

His promising musical life was tragically cut short in a fire early on August 29 when fire ripped through the Felixstowe flat he shared with friend William Stokes, 19, claiming both their young lives.

His uncle Rick Stone said Rob's the family had been "overwhelmed" by the show of support in the days since - a testament, he said, of Rob's endless capacity for friendship and how much everyone loved Rob.

It was his life, so full of tunes, that was celebrated with a varied musical programme during the service, reflecting his "passions - the things that were most important to him," said Mr Hone.

His three bandmates from the popular Boot50 in which Rob was lead guitarist helped to shoulder Rob's coffin into the village church of St Mary's and later played a recorded version of 'This is Me', a track which Rob's virtuosic guitar playing brought to life.

Yet noting his wide-ranging musical education began early when he started to play the 'cello, aged just four, his former 'cello teacher sent ripples of laughter through the packed pews as she recalled Rob's early short attention span.

Sounds of rock band Oasis had greeted more than 300 mourners but the shift in musical register was seismic when Mrs Bennett played Faure's haunting Elegie, a piece which Rob himself, who achieved Grade 8 on the instrument, enjoyed playing too.

His close friend Matthew Sword read Psalm 23 while another, Ben Mason, who had been one of the group with Rob the night he died, gave a moving rendition of some beautiful lines by Canon Scott Holland: "Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be forever what it always was."

A favourite song of Rob's music teacher mother Maggie, the Negro spiritual 'Steal Away' was sung by the A Cappella choir from Rob's old school Farlingaye High, where Mrs Giles had been head of music.

The village had clearly rallied round Mrs Giles on her return from Tanzania - and family friend Liz Ingle remembered the Giles family arrival into the community during the service.

Mrs Giles, who had bravely played the organ for two traditional hymns during the service, told the Star: "I'm sure it was what Rob would have wanted."

Mourners repaired to the nearby Duke's Head, Rob's old local and scene of many late-night gigs, for the wake.

Tributes to Rob Giles and Will Stokes continue to pour into Rob's band's website as he and Will are remembered in people's hearts and minds.

Here are some more of the poignant messages to have been left on the Boot50 website:

Dave Johnston: "I've known Rob since Primary School...at least 8 years of our lives...it's strange to think that he won't be around anymore. Such a talented musician and astoundingly intelligent bloke. He'll be sorely missed by many. My condolences to everyone who loved or knew him. Also my condolences to Beccy Stokes and family. Will was also a great individual - I know he will be greatly missed. Both had so much promise. We'll miss you both."

Tony Radford: "Although I hadn't seen Rob for 10 months since I left Coddenham he had been a major part of my life until then. His zest for life was infectious, his humour zany, his musical talent huge and above all he was a genuinely nice guy and fun to be with.

Molly: "Rob was such a great guy, he could make anyone smile. I'll never forget what a great time we had on the music tour in France last year. Condolences to his family and close friends."

Paul Cheese: "I only met Rob a few times, generally at parties where we ended up too drunk to remember much about anything. I knew Will too, having lived 'virtually next door' for several years and watched him become quite a 'regular' at the pubs and parties. Still, I can't really express my feelings of loss, but the light that these two young lads shone onto our lives has now sadly dimmed. Sorry, I'm not poetic or anything. Just saddened by the tragedy - I'll remember you guys."

Andrea: "I played with Rob in the SSYO (Suffolk Schools Youth Orchestra), and he always used to brighten up my Friday evenings! I remember the cello section always getting into trouble for making too much noise and having a laugh! I didn't know Rob well but he is someone that I won't forget.

Isla: I love you both so much. You are two of my best friends. Rob, you were the easiest person to be with; you always made me feel good because you laughed at the most unfunny things I would say. Will, our relationship was

turbulent but it was intense for a reason. You are my little darling I

never cared about anybody the way I care about you."

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