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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 November, 2004, 14:32 GMT
Memorial service for Ken Bigley
People sign the book of condolence for Ken Bigley
Ken Bigley came from the Walton area of Liverpool
A memorial service has taken place in Liverpool for Kenneth Bigley, the hostage murdered in Iraq.

Prime Minister Tony Blair read from the Bible at the Anglican Cathedral service after being invited by the Bigley family.

The body of 62-year-old Mr Bigley, who was from the Walton area of the city, has never been found and his family have not been able to hold a funeral.

Members of all faiths were welcomed and there were readings from the Koran.

Mr Blair flew back to the UK from Washington, where he held talks with US President George Bush, and was joined at the service by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

Mr Bigley's wife, Sombat, and mother, Lil, were also at the service along with his 10-year-old niece, Hannah, who sang 'Safe in the Father's Hands', accompanied by the cathedral's Centenary Girls' Choir.

Life without our Ken will never be the same again. God bless you, Ken, until we meet again
Ken Bigley's brother, Paul

His brother, Paul, occasionally struggled to keep his composure as he read a eulogy in which he spoke of how Mr Bigley's engineering project in Baghdad "was to help secure a better living for himself and Sombat and for their future to live together".

He added: "Ken was witty, funny and sometimes sarcastic but, behind these traits, hid an intensely proud man.

"Ken was a no-nonsense, get-the-job-done man and a private man, known now to many for all the wrong reasons.

"Life without our Ken will never be the same again. God bless you Ken, until we meet again."

Later Mr Blair read a passage from St Paul's letter to the Corinthians.

Tony Blair at the Ken Bigley memorial service in Liverpool
Tony Blair read a passage from the Bible

He began with the words: "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

"It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

The service was attended by up to 300 people. Books of Condolence were laid on a table, next to a photograph of Mr Bigley, while the opening hymns were sung.

Prayers were said for the family, people involved in the Iraq violence and the US hostages killed along with Mr Bigley, Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley.

Sandra Bigley, Ken's sister-in-law, and family friend Irene Bassett then read Death Is Nothing At All by Herefordshire poet Henry Scott Holland, before Mr Bigley's eldest brother, Stan, read a Bliblical passage from the book of Matthew.

Ken Bigley's niece, Hannah
Ken Bigley's niece, Hannah, sang a solo with the cathedral choir

Then, referring to Mr Bigley's son, Paul, who died in a car crash, he said: "My mother's son and our brother, Ken, is now at peace and has his beautiful, beautiful, son, Paul, in his arms now."

The Dean of Liverpool Cathedral, the Right Rev Rupert Hoare, read a message from former Middle East hostage Terry Waite, who apologised for being unable to attend.

Mr Waite said: "I salute the Bigley family for their dignity and courage and for their determination not to be defeated by this tragedy.

"May God continue to give them his peace and may we do all within our power to bring peace to this troubled world."




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See some of the memorial tributes to Ken Bigley




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