Balloons released at Gad's Hill School in Higham to remember tragic schoolboy Charlie Booth
Children at Gad's Hill
let off balloons to remember fellow pupil Charlie Booth
Hundreds of emotional pupils gathered in mournful silence before
releasing balloons to remember schoolboy Charlie Booth.
The 16-year-old died after apparently shooting himself with his
father's gun at the family home in Cobham.
Fellow pupils, family members and friends attended a
celebration of his life at Gad's Hill School in Higham on
At the end of the service, 61 white balloons - each with
personal messages from every member of his year group - were
released in his memory.
Floral tributes to the popular teenager (pictured right) were
left at the spot where he would have left his bag during the school
One message attached to flowers from his best friend Zak Warwood
read: "Charleston, I love you man, keep smiling up there."
All senior school pupils attended a memorial service to
remember Charlie's life on Friday.
It began with a Drumhead service - conducted in the military
field during armed conflict - where five of Charlie's fellow cadets
carried drums onto the school's stage, piling them neatly and
draping them with the school's flag to create an "altar".
His closest friends then joined headmaster David Craggs and Fr
James Southward, from Higham's St John Evangelist Church to
remember Charlie through poetry, music and photography.
Earlier, it emerged police had visited Charlie's home to talk
about an "incident" just hours before he was found dead on Friday,
Kent Police confirmed the Independent Police Complaints
Commission, which was looking into the handling of the case, has
passed the investigation back to the force.
A spokesman refused to explain why officers had been involved,
but said there was "no ongoing criminal or pending investigation
and the matter was resolved at the meeting".
Floral tributes to
Charlie Booth at Gad's Hill School in Higham
In the days before his death, Charlie tweeted about his volatile
moods and said he got caught up in arguments.
One message at 6.49pm on March 7, the day before he died, said:
"Swear I get in s*** moods for no reason at the moment! Need to
sort myself out."
Charlie lived with his father Nicholas, 52, marketing assistant
mother Julia, 48, and 12-year-old sister Harriet in a large country
In a tribute, his family described him as a "one-in-a-million
They said: "As a son he was a very loving boy that had a very
supportive family, not just his parents, but his aunts, uncles,
cousins and grandparents. He thought the world of them and we all
thought the world of him.
"He was just a typical country boy that enjoyed school life,
loved outdoor pursuits and he fully embraced the country
"Charlie was one in a million, very popular and well-liked, and
was quite simply our beautiful boy."
Charlie was a keen member of the Gad's Hill Combined Cadet
Force, which trains pupils in a range of military activities
including shooting, survival training, rock climbing and taking
part in assault courses.
He also represented the school at cross-country, rugby and
hockey and previously played for Gravesend Rugby Football Club and
had a keen interest in cricket.
Charlie helped raise several thousand pounds through a number of
events with family and friends to help fund a school trip to Alaska
- Click here for more Gravesend news...
- Click here for more news from across the county...