Gad's Hill pupils say emotional goodbye to classmate Charlie Booth who shot himself
PUBLISHED: 11:54 18 March 2013 | UPDATED: 11:54 18 March 2013
Emotional pupils at Gad's Hill school left hundreds of heartfelt floral tributes to their friend and classmate Charlie Booth in the area where would have left his bag during the school day.
The death of the popular 16-year-old prompted an outpouring of grief among his fellow classmates. The teen apparently shot himself at his Cobham home on March 8. His death is not being treated suspiciously.
One message, attached to flowers from his best friend Zak Warwood, read: “Charleston, I love you man, keep smiling up there.”
On Friday, the entire senior school came together to pay tribute to their friend with a special service to remember Charlie’s life.
It began with a Drumhead Service - the same service that is conducted in the military field during armed conflict - where five of Charlie’s fellow cadets carried drums onto the school’s stage, piling them neatly and draping them with the School’s flag to create an ‘altar’.
His closest friends then joined the school’s headmaster David Craggs and Father James Southward from St John Evangelist, Higham to remember Charlie through poetry, music and photography as well as heartfelt speech.
When contemplating where he was or what he may be doing, students repeatedly said that he would be ‘telling jokes’ and ‘being cheeky’.
At the end of the service hundreds of pupils, past and present, their families and friends gathered in mournful silence while 61 white balloons, each with personal messages from every member of his year group, were released in Charlie’s memory. After the balloons were set free, the gathered crowd broke out into applause.