‘JOYOUS colour, humour, love and tears’ was the scene at eight-year-old Harvey Baldwin’s funeral on Monday as an ‘immense’ crowd of people turned out to pay their respects to the Sompting family.
After a 20-month battle with leukaemia, the former Sompting Village Primary School pupil died on October 6.
A procession was led through the village centre, controlled by Sussex Police.
Harvey’s mother, Claire, told the Lancing Herald that the gathering at Worthing Crematorium was ‘overwhelming’.
She said: “It was full and there was standing room only. We were really overwhelmed by the amount of support from the community.
“Harvey’s favourite colour was orange and it was lovely to see that everyone was wearing something orange and the children were wearing orange loom bands.”
A lover of big trucks, Barnes DAF Shoreham offered one of their vehicles to join the parade, along with a 4x4 car, courtesy of Alton Motors.
A resident also decorated lamp-posts along the route with orange ribbons, Harvey’s favourite colour.
Sompting Village Primary School closed early to allow children and staff to attend the funeral.
Claire continued: “Since he was diagnosed he has had leukaemia three times and the support from the teachers, headmaster and Your Space counsellors has been overwhelming. The children all stood where we live to see Harvey pass through.”
In the last 20 months, Claire said her family has spent at least 12 months in and out of hospital.
Harvey’s eldest brother Max, 17, donated his bone marrow in a stem cell transplant to extend Harvey life expectancy.
The funeral started at 3.40pm and was attended by all who were touched by ‘brave’ Harvey and his family.
“It was full of joyous colour, humour, love and tears - Harvey was all these things.
“He was an incredible eight-year-old and infiltrated the hearts of many adults and children alike with an enormous smile.”
“He was brave and courageous during his treatment and never cried,” she said.
The family - including Claire, father Richard, sons Max, 17, Alex, 15, and daughter Evie, 11 - would also like to extend their thanks to Worthing Hospital, The Royal Marsden in Sutton and children’s charity CLIC Sargent.
“We were able to go to Cornwall this year because CLIC Sargent arranged for one of their nurses to come out every day, which gave us our last holiday together,” said Claire.
If you would like to make a donation in Harvey’s memory, please give to CLIC Sargent, Leucan or Chestnut Tree House, which all played a part in his life.