MOURNERS turned out today to say farewell to six children who died in a house fire.
The bodies of the children arrived for a funeral service on six horse-drawn carriages.
The hearse carrying the body of Jade Philpott, 10, led the cortege with a horse with pink feathers.
Five more hearses, each with blue feathers, followed, carrying the bodies of her brothers John, nine, Jack, eight, Jessie, six, Jayden, five, and Duwayne, 13, to St Mary’s Catholic Church in Derby town centre.
Five of the six children died in the blaze at the semi-detached house on Victory Road in Allenton, Derby, in the early hours of May 11. Duwayne died two days later in Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Their father Mick Philpott, 55, and mother Mairead, 31, have been charged with murdering all six children in the blaze.
They were not believed to be at today’s service.
Rosette flowers and yellow roses were handed out to family and friends going into the church.
The flowers had six petals, one for each of the children - blue for the boys and pink for Jade - and each petal had the child’s initial on.
The full requiem mass began with the priests greeting the coffins outside as the church bells rang out across Derby.
Jade’s coffin had a pink princess on the front while the boys’ coffins each had emblems, including toy soldiers on nine-year-old John’s and the Derby County emblem on Duwayne’s.
Each coffin bore the child’s name.
Family members and friends threw flowers at the coffins as they were carried into the church.
Well-wishers wept outside as the coffins, which had flowers on top, were taken inside.
The service began with a hymn and prayers were said for the children.
In the order of mass, Duwayne, pictured wearing his school uniform, was described as being charming and caring. Despite being camera shy, the Derby County fan was also described as a ladies’ man who always had endless queues of girls fancying him.
The 13-year-old, the eldest of the six children, was said to have taken on the role of “protector” of his younger siblings and enjoyed going to Derby County football games with his father Mick and his younger brothers.
It said: “Duwayne loved to spend his time with the family pet Crackle (African Grey parrot) who was always shouting after him and his mum Mairead.
Jade was described as a beautiful princess who had become a mother hen to her younger brothers.
“She would always carry them around on her hip,” the order of service said.
It described her as a creative girl who liked to play on the Nintendo Wii.
“She had a permanent smile on her face and was always content.”
She always tried to get involved in rough and tumble with her brothers but was never allowed.
The 10-year-old was said to be well regarded at school, very intelligent and she would boost class morale.
John was described as a “cheeky chappy” who was always lively and ready to pick a fight with all the boys.
“He was determined to be the last man standing. He was named Supergrass as he would always worm his way out of getting out of trouble and blame somebody else,” the tribute in the order of service said.
“No matter how much he was in trouble he would always crack a smile and find it a joke.”
He was also a Derby County supporter and his daredevil personality saw him compete with Duwayne in jumping off climbing frames on to the family trampoline.
He wanted to pursue a career as a soldier in the Army.
Jack was described as “a real pretty boy” with bright blue eyes, who loved to spend most of his time on his Nintendo DS and watching Peppa Pig, images of which were pictured on his coffin.
The order of service said he was “cute, cuddly and content with everything”.
The tribute to Jack said he was like Duwayne because he was shy and bashful and that he was the quietest sibling.
“He was always the first one in the fights to run off crying to his mummy but some cuddles and kisses and he would be back to his gaming.”
Crazy, clumsy and cheerful Jesse, aged six, liked to show off to everyone and constantly tried to get attention, the tribute said.
“He was a loud character in the family and very mischievous: whenever he got into trouble he would storm off like a teenager to his room.”
He was described as fearless, getting into scrambles with his brothers with no cares in the world.
Jesse also had a loving nature towards his youngest brother, Jayden.
The youngest of the six, Jayden, was nicknamed “the miracle baby” by his parents after being born early.
The five-year-old was described as a bouncy and hyperactive boy, who always wanted to have fights with his older brothers.
“He loved lots of cuddles from family and friends.
“Jayden’s main pleasure in life was food. He could eat seven packets of crisps in one go if he could get away with it.
“He would go into the garden clean and go back into the house messy within minutes.”
He was described as a real copycat who looked up to his big brothers.