Four-year-old girl 'with heart of gold' given emotional send-off

Dereham paid its respects to four-year-old Bonnie Marsh as she was given a fitting send-off

Dereham paid its respects to four-year-old Bonnie Marsh as she was given a fitting send-off - Credit: Archant/Marsh family

A town paused to pay its respects to an "amazing" four-year-old girl who had "a heart of gold". 

Bonnie Marsh, from Dereham, died suddenly just before Christmas following a short battle with illness.

Dereham four-year-old Bonnie Marsh, pictured with her dog Coco, died suddenly in December

Dereham four-year-old Bonnie Marsh, pictured with her dog Coco, died suddenly in December - Credit: Marsh family

The four-year-old left behind her parents, Lauren and Liam, her loving brother, Teddy, and their beloved dog, Coco. 

On Friday (February 11), dozens of well-wishers lined the streets as a procession travelled through Dereham town centre, before continuing on to Dereham Cemetery. 

Many wore pink at the request of her family. 

Then, at Dereham Baptist Church, a gathering of friends, family and fellow church-goers came together for a poignant thanksgiving service. 

Four-year-old Bonnie Marsh's funeral procession heads through Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Four-year-old Bonnie Marsh's funeral procession heads through Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

Her mother, Lauren, reading a touching tribute, in which she said it was almost impossible to "put into words how amazing Bonnie was". 

She added: "Bonnie was the sister that Teddy always wanted; the baby girl we always asked for. 

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"Bonnie was loved wherever she went. She made friends so quickly and, by the time she went to school, she had a really strong bond with many of her classmates - but no-one could beat Daisy. 

"We all loved Bonnie. She was such a strong little girl with a heart of gold. 

Four-year-old Bonnie Marsh's funeral procession heads through Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Four-year-old Bonnie Marsh's funeral procession heads through Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

"She idolised Teddy and wanted to be just like him. I loved listening to them play, when they didn't have a care in the world. 

"Bonnie would be saying 'mum, don't cry', but she has taken such a huge part of our hearts with her. We love you so much and I hope you felt that love every single day.

"This is not goodbye, just 'until we meet again.'"

Bonnie attended Grove Primary and her favourite teacher, Reece Cassidy, paid tribute on behalf of the school. 

Teddy bear flowers for four-year-old Bonnie Marsh's funeral at the procession through Dereham. Pictu

Teddy bear flowers for four-year-old Bonnie Marsh's funeral at the procession through Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

"I first met Bonnie in nursery and she would follow me round, asking what I was doing," added Mr Cassidy.

"Whenever she was outside, she would be running around with her friends and would also ask me to come and play. 

"My favourite thing about Bonnie was her sense of humour. I certainly will not forget the funny girl that she was and I will treasure the Christmas card that she made me forever."

Those at the service joined together in song and heard Bonnie's favourite, No Tears Left To Cry by Ariana Grande, at its conclusion. 

Four-year-old Bonnie Marsh's funeral procession heads through Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Four-year-old Bonnie Marsh's funeral procession heads through Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022