Final tribute to murdered schoolboy Mark TildesleyBy Caroline Cook
February 03, 2011
Flowers from mourners at the funeral of Lavinia Tildesley were laid to rest at the memorial to her son Mark who was killed by a paedophile gang 27 years ago.
Friends, family and well-wishers from across Wokingham filled the Easthampstead Park Crematorium in Nine Mile Ride to pay their final respects to Mrs Tildesley on Wednesday, January 26.
At the end of the service dozens of flowers and tributes from the service were taken to St Paul’s Church in Reading Road, Wokingham, and placed on the headstone which reads “in loving memory of Mark Anthony Tildesley”.
Mrs Tildesley, who lived in Barkham, passed away on Sunday, January 9, aged 75. Friends have told how she lived through “dark days” since Mark was snatched and killed by a notorious paedophile gang in 1984 aged seven. His body has never been found.
Members of charities and organisations like the Salvation Amy attended the service to say a final farewell to the woman who had such an impact on the town.
Many people who became close to the Tildesley family in the years after Mark’s disappearance also attended the funeral.
Councillor Bob Wyatt was mayor of Wokingham when Mark went missing and paid tribute to the woman who he said warmed the hearts of many people around the town.
He said: “Last week we saw the putting to rest of Lavinia Tildelsey. The eulogy was very revealing and showed us all the involvement that Lavinia has had in Wokingham over her life.
“We heard how strong a person she was and how once she got hold of something that she was passionate about she would not let it go until she got the right result.
“The service was full of family and friends from a wide range of areas and from various charities which she was interested in. There were people from just about every spot in the town.
“People warmed to her very much and although she bore her sorrow she was not the girl that expected sympathy.”
The funeral service began with the Rivers of Babylon and finished with We Are Sailing, which Cllr Wyatt said was the sort of music Mrs Tildesley would have enjoyed.
Paedophile Leslie Bailey was given two life sentences for Mark’s manslaughter in 1992 but claimed he did not know where Mark was buried. Although other people were named in court as being responsible for Mark’s killing, no charges have ever been brought against them.
Mrs Tildesley leaves behind two children, Christopher and Christina.