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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Beth Ure

Archie Battersbee's funeral sees tearful family gather to remember 'perfect' boy, 12, at centre of legal battle

Archie Battersbee's funeral took place in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, today with his relatives gathering to remember the 12-year-old boy.

Archie, who was at the centre of a life-support treatment fight during the summer, died after doctors turned off his life support on 6 August. His funeral service featured videos of him singing and performing gymnastics.

Archie was first rushed to hospital after his mum Hollie Dance found him unconscious with a ligature over his head at home in Southend in Essex on April 7. She thinks he may have been taking part in an online challenge, and he suffered brain damage.


His funeral was held at St Mary’s Church in Southend on Tuesday and the hundreds of mourners who attended wore black with some purple, at the request of the family.

Archie's coffin was pulled in a hearse by horses (PA Wire/PA Images)

Archie’s coffin arrived in a hearse drawn by four black horses with purple headwear. Flowers arranged on top of the hearse read “son”, with others reading “Archie’s army”.

Church bells tolled as the coffin was carried inside, with the song Hypnotize by American rapper the Notorious B.I.G playing over speakers inside the church as people filed into pews.

The coffin of Archie Battersbee is brought into St Mary's Church, Prittlewell, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, ahead of his funeral. (PA)

Paul Mackay, the vicar of St Mary’s, said there would be an eclectic mixture of music and prayer to celebrate Archie’s life. During the service, a video of Archie singing One Call Away by Charlie Puth was played, before the choir performed a rendition of the song.

Archie’s mother tearfully addressed the congregation before someone shouted “we love you Hollie, we’re so proud of you” and the crowd broke into spontaneous applause. Ms Dance said, from the front of the church: “He was just such a beautiful little boy and just he made the most of absolutely everything that he done.

“He lived a very fulfilled and happy life. He was very, very energetic.”

Hollie Dance (right) , mother of Archie Battersbee, during the funeral of her son (PA Wire/PA Images)

She continued: “He was the best little boy ever, just perfect. There was a few little challenges along the way but he was just moulding into such a perfect little man.

“I love him so much.”

Hollie Dance (third from left) follows as the coffin of her 12-year-old son Archie Battersbee is taken from St Mary's Church, Prittlewell, Southend-on-Sea, Essex after his funeral. (PA Wire/PA Images)

The song Someone You Loved by pop star Lewis Capaldi was played over speakers, and there was poetry, hymns, a bible reading and a video montage of photographs and film of Archie, including some of him doing somersaults. As people filed out of the church, Lucid Dreams by Juice WRLD was played.

The family said, in an order of service for the funeral, that donations to the Tafida Raqeeb Foundation would be gratefully received. The foundation aims to improve the quality of life of children who suffer from a neurological condition and “be their vocal advocates”.

Bells tolled again as Archie’s coffin was carried from the church and led away in the horse-drawn hearse.


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