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PICTURES: St Cuthberts pupils' silent guard of honour for headteacher Monica Gallimore
PUPILS formed a guard of honour as a funeral cortege took their widely respected headteacher on a final journey past the school she served with such devotion.
Hundreds stood patiently in the sunshine waiting to pay tribute to Monica Gallimore, the head of St Cuthberts School in Sutton, whose funeral was held today.
Mrs Gallimore, who lived in Rainhill with her husband, died last month following a short illness aged 64.
She had served the school for nearly 30 four years, and was leader for the past four.
As the hearse carrying her coffin pulled up outside the main gate on Berrys Lane, conversations quietened and the pupils fell silent.
Acting principal Angela New and pupils Callum Rafferty, 16, and Elizabeth Wise, 15, who were chosen to represent all the children at the school, placed white lilies - Mrs Gallimore’s favourite flower - on to the coffin.
As the cortege slowly moved away, mourners broke out in respectful applause.
Angela New told the Star: “I don’t know exactly what words to use...dignity, love, respect. It’s typical of the way our children respond. The children have been a credit to the community and themselves.
“I can see generations standing here. We also have support from a local primary school who have sent 20 staff members to help with the children.
“You can tell by the reaction today, how much they respected her. She was a force of nature.”
Elizabeth added: “We feel very honoured to be able to do this for a really inspiring person.”