England

London Bridge victims Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones remembered in services

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Media captionFunerals held for London Bridge attack victims

Funeral services have taken place to remember the two victims of the London Bridge attack.

Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, were stabbed to death by Usman Khan at a prisoner rehabilitation event on 29 November.

Family and friends celebrated Mr Merritt's life at his funeral at Great St Mary's Church in Cambridge.

A memorial service for Miss Jones also took place at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Her mother Michelle Jones, her grandmother and other family members had earlier attended a private funeral.

Mr Merritt and Miss Jones were at a conference organised by the University of Cambridge programme called Learning Together when Khan attacked them with a knife in Fishmongers' Hall.

Two women and a man were also injured before Khan was shot dead by armed officers on London Bridge.

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Image caption Saskia Jones' mother Michelle leaves the service in Stratford-upon-Avon
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Image caption Jack Merritt's coffin leaving Great St Mary's Church following the funeral

Mr Merritt's girlfriend Leanne O'Brien told his funeral service the pair had been "inseparable" and that he gave her "the best two and a half years of my life".

"I'll miss your big heart and how loved you made me feel. Most of all I'll miss a future that we had planned together," she added.

Mr Merritt's father David said the family had received letters from prisoners praising his son who worked for the rehabilitation programme Learning Together.

"Jack's death was a tragedy but his short life was a triumph," he added.

Among the mourners was musician Nick Cave, who performed Into My Arms at the end of the service.

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Image caption Leanne O'Brien (second from left) at the funeral service for her boyfriend

Friends and family of Miss Jones, who volunteered for Learning Together, were among 500 people gathered at a private memorial service.

There were readings by her uncle Phil Jones, who read Psalm 121, and her mother who recited Nicole Lyons' I Hope That Someday When I Am Gone.

Rev Michael Price, deputy headteacher of Bloxham School where she had studied, said Miss Jones was a "life-shaper" and a woman of "courage".

"She made me laugh - she could be funny, she could be very funny," he said.

A performance of I Dreamed A Dream, from the musical Les Miserables, was followed by the James Blunt track The Greatest to conclude the service.

Image caption The front cover of the booklet given to mourners at Jack Merritt's funeral
Image copyright Family handout
Image caption The family of Saskia Jones said her death "will leave a huge void in our lives"

In his end-of-year message, Cambridge University vice-chancellor Stephen Toope said the "unspeakably tragic loss" of Mr Merritt and Miss Jones had "hurt us deeply".

"I ask that we do not let the manner of Saskia and Jack's deaths eclipse the manner in which they lived their lives and helped others to do so," he said.

"As we prepare for the holiday period, let us instead remember the values they embodied."

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