Saturday, July 24, 2021

Julia James’ son pays tribute to murdered PCSO mother, 53, at Canterbury Cathedral funeral

Must Read


The son of murdered PCSO Julia James today wept as he said ‘goodbye for now, but not forever’ to his mother during her funeral at Canterbury Cathedral, as police said ‘words cannot do her justice’ and mourners wore blue in tribute as they lined the streets of Aylesham.

Patrick Davis called the 53-year-old Kent Police officer ‘the most amazing women’ with ‘the most infectious laugh and a huge heart’ and described how she would ‘light up a room with her smile as soon as she walked in’ and ‘could make a joke out of anything’.

In an emotional tribute this afternoon, the 23-year-old said that he missed her ‘more and more every day’ but ‘knew that you’re always near’ because he keeps ‘these crystals with me that you gave me when I was eight and it comforts me knowing that you’re beside me’.

Mrs James was tragically bludgeoned to death in Akholt Wood close to her home in Snowdown, Kent, on April 27. The ‘extremely violent’ attack shocked the nation and sparked an enormous murder investigation involving dozens of officers from all across the country.

Callum Wheeler, 21, from Aylesham, has been charged with Ms James’s murder and a trial date has been set for November 29. Officers have confirmed they are not ‘actively’ seeking any further suspects over Julia’s death. 


Just after 12pm today, Mrs James’ wicker coffin was carefully carried into the medieval catheral by six pallbearers. Her PCSO’s uniform cap sat gently on top of the casket along with a spray of white, pink and mauve flowers as it was placed on stands surrounded by candles. 

Mr Davis said: ‘I’d like to take this opportunity to give just a brief insight into how much of a pleasure it was for me and Bethan to have Julia as our mum. Mum was the most amazing woman, and would go to the ends of the earth for anyone. She had the most infectious laugh and a huge heart, and I’m so pleased I had the pleasure of calling he my mum.

‘Mum could make a joke out of anything. Her sense of humour was amazing. She was very competitive, although she didn’t like the fact that she fell over on the first sports day in front of all the other mums. Mum would light up a room with her smile as soon as she walked in. 

‘As she entered, she would glow with positivity, love and warmth. She truly was an amazing mother, wife, daughter and nan. I just hope one day I can go like you did, because it truly was beautiful.

‘For the last 10 years, it’s been amazing to see how truly happy you were, and that’s because of my mum’s amazing husband Paul. I want to thank you for bringing my mum the peace and happiness she’s always deserved.


‘I miss you more and more every day Mum, but I know you’re always near. I keep these crystals with me that you gave me when I was eight and it comforts me knowing that you’re beside me. I love you Mum. Goodbye for now, but not forever.’  

Patrick Davis called the 53-year-old Kent Police officer 'the most amazing women' with 'the most infectious laugh and a huge heart' and described how she would 'light up a room with her smile as soon as she walked in' and 'could make a joke out of anything'

Patrick Davis called the 53-year-old Kent Police officer 'the most amazing women' with 'the most infectious laugh and a huge heart' and described how she would 'light up a room with her smile as soon as she walked in' and 'could make a joke out of anything'

Patrick Davis called the 53-year-old Kent Police officer ‘the most amazing women’ with ‘the most infectious laugh and a huge heart’ and described how she would ‘light up a room with her smile as soon as she walked in’ and ‘could make a joke out of anything’

Undated handout photo issued by Kent Police of PCSO Julia James in Aylesham, Kent

Undated handout photo issued by Kent Police of PCSO Julia James in Aylesham, Kent

Undated handout photo issued by Kent Police of PCSO Julia James in Aylesham, Kent 

Police today formed a guard of honour as murdered PCSO Julia James is laid to rest during an emotional funeral service at Canterbury Cathedral today, after her daughter called on the community to 'come together once more'

Police today formed a guard of honour as murdered PCSO Julia James is laid to rest during an emotional funeral service at Canterbury Cathedral today, after her daughter called on the community to 'come together once more'

Police today formed a guard of honour as murdered PCSO Julia James is laid to rest during an emotional funeral service at Canterbury Cathedral today, after her daughter called on the community to ‘come together once more’

Still taken with permission from the Canterbury Cathedral YouTube feed. The coffin of Police Community Support Officer Julia James rests in front of the altar during her funeral service at Canterbury Cathedral

Still taken with permission from the Canterbury Cathedral YouTube feed. The coffin of Police Community Support Officer Julia James rests in front of the altar during her funeral service at Canterbury Cathedral

Still taken with permission from the Canterbury Cathedral YouTube feed. The coffin of Police Community Support Officer Julia James rests in front of the altar during her funeral service at Canterbury Cathedral


Mrs James' daughter Bethan Coles

Mrs James' daughter Bethan Coles

Gavin Moss, Temporary Detective Superintendent for Kent Police

Gavin Moss, Temporary Detective Superintendent for Kent Police

Mrs James’ funeral service began at 12pm at Canterbury Cathedral, during which her daughter Bethan Coles read a poem. Gavin Moss, Temporary Detective Superintendent for Kent Police, said: ‘Words cannot do her justice and we cannot be more proud to have had Julia as a colleague.’

A funeral service was held today at Canterbury Cathedral following a procession, with members of the public invited to line the streets near where the officer lived

A funeral service was held today at Canterbury Cathedral following a procession, with members of the public invited to line the streets near where the officer lived

A funeral service was held today at Canterbury Cathedral following a procession, with members of the public invited to line the streets near where the officer lived

A funeral service was held today at Canterbury Cathedral, during which her daughter Bethan Coles read a poem and temporary Detective Superintendent Gavin Moss spoke on behalf of the police force

A funeral service was held today at Canterbury Cathedral, during which her daughter Bethan Coles read a poem and temporary Detective Superintendent Gavin Moss spoke on behalf of the police force

A funeral service was held today at Canterbury Cathedral, during which her daughter Bethan Coles read a poem and temporary Detective Superintendent Gavin Moss spoke on behalf of the police force

Callum Wheeler, 21, charged with the murder of PCSO Julia James leaving Medway Court

Callum Wheeler, 21, charged with the murder of PCSO Julia James leaving Medway Court

Callum Wheeler, 21, charged with the murder of PCSO Julia James leaving Medway Court

The service was opened by the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral Dr Robert Willis while Father Jeff Cridland, parish priest of Julia’s church St Finbarr’s in Aylesham conducted the service and asked mourners in the full cathedral to think they were back in the village church.


He described her as ‘one of the flowers of Aylesham’ and added: ‘Our job this morning is to be proud of Julia. Sad to be sending her now, but proud of her and loving her to the depth of our being.’ 

Cousin and ‘best friend’ Tammy Winstone said Mrs James had the ‘most wicked and naughty sense of humour and always left you with a smile,’ and ‘could be feisty when she was younger and defended her family and friends with a passion’.

She said Mrs James had been ‘at the peak of happiness and health’ before her death, thanks to her relationship with husband Paul. She added: ‘The smile you see in recent photos was because of this wonderful man she loved whole-heartedly.’

Her daughter Bethan Coles, who is also a serving police officer, read a poem in tribute to her mother and was supported by Father Jeff who walked up alongside her when she began to choke back tears. 

Ms James joined Kent Police in 2008 and received praise for her work with victims of domestic violence, as well as the communities she served.

Temporary Detective Superintendent Gavin Moss spoke fondly of his colleague at the service, standing beside a large Kent Police crest that was laid out for the funeral.

He said: ‘Her passion, dedication and commitment, along with her friendly, bubbly personality that defined her, was evident from day one and right through her career with Kent Police. She helped so many communities flourish. She always showed Kent Police in its finest light.’ 

Police today formed a guard of honour as Mrs James was laid to rest during the emotional funeral service at Canterbury.   

The procession will pass through the village of Aylesham, near where Mrs James lived

The procession will pass through the village of Aylesham, near where Mrs James lived

The procession will pass through the village of Aylesham, near where Mrs James lived

Those attending the service in Canterbury at 12pm were asked to wear blue in a nod to Mrs James's many years of service to Kent Police

Those attending the service in Canterbury at 12pm were asked to wear blue in a nod to Mrs James's many years of service to Kent Police

Those attending the service in Canterbury at 12pm were asked to wear blue in a nod to Mrs James’s many years of service to Kent Police

Police today formed a guard of honour as murdered PCSO Julia James was laid to rest during an emotional funeral service at Canterbury Cathedral today

Police today formed a guard of honour as murdered PCSO Julia James was laid to rest during an emotional funeral service at Canterbury Cathedral today

Police today formed a guard of honour as murdered PCSO Julia James was laid to rest during an emotional funeral service at Canterbury Cathedral today

Murdered PCSO Julia James laid to rest in emotional funeral as dozens of police officers pay tribute

Murdered PCSO Julia James laid to rest in emotional funeral as dozens of police officers pay tribute

Murdered PCSO Julia James laid to rest in emotional funeral as dozens of police officers pay tribute

Murdered PCSO Julia James laid to rest in emotional funeral as dozens of police officers pay tribute

Murdered PCSO Julia James laid to rest in emotional funeral as dozens of police officers pay tribute

Murdered PCSO Julia James laid to rest in emotional funeral as dozens of police officers pay tribute

Still taken with permission from the Canterbury Cathedral YouTube feed. The coffin of Police Community Support Officer Julia James is placed in front of the altar for her funeral service at Canterbury Cathedral

Still taken with permission from the Canterbury Cathedral YouTube feed. The coffin of Police Community Support Officer Julia James is placed in front of the altar for her funeral service at Canterbury Cathedral

Still taken with permission from the Canterbury Cathedral YouTube feed. The coffin of Police Community Support Officer Julia James is placed in front of the altar for her funeral service at Canterbury Cathedral

The service followed a procession through the village of Aylesham, near where Mrs James lived. The procession made its way through Dorman Avenue South, before continuing around the Market Square and travelled out of the village via Dorman Avenue North. 

Those attending the service in Canterbury at 12pm were asked to wear blue in a nod to Mrs James’s many years of service to Kent Police. Her daughter added that Canterbury Cathedral was offering to live-stream the funeral service, for those unable to attend.

Ms Coles said on Facebook: ‘It would be lovely to see the community come together once more; so if you wish to gather in the Market Square or line the streets for a final farewell please do so!

‘There will be a small private wake however the Ratling will be open for those wishing to have a drink in my Mum’s memory and have kindly offered to open early and show the service on their big screen should anyone wish to see it.’ 

She added: ‘The Aylesham & District Social Club will be open for those wishing to have a drink in my Mum’s memory and have kindly offered to open early and show the service on their big screen should anyone wish to see it. If anyone wishes to send flowers then we would love to see them placed in the Market Square as they were before.’

St Finbarr’s Church in Aylesham was set to open its doors today for anyone wishing to light a candle or pause for a moment of reflection. 

Source: Daily Mail


LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Katie Hopkins joins thousands in Trafalgar Square for ‘Freedom Rally’

Katie Hopkins was among thousands of campaigners on the streets of London today for a protest against vaccine passports,...

More Articles Like This