Norfolk hunt community to pay tribute on Cromer pier to bullied schoolboy

Joanne Furse has organised a memorial service for bullied Welsh schoolboy Bradley John. Photo: Joann

Joanne Furse has organised a memorial service for bullied Welsh schoolboy Bradley John. Photo: Joanne Furse - Credit: Archant

'That could have been us in their shoes.'

A Norfolk woman whose son was bullied at school for his love of hunting has organised a memorial service for a Welsh schoolboy who died after previously being bullied for the same reason.

She decided to hold the gathering in 14-year-old Bradley John's memory after she heard about the teenager's death in September.

The woman said: 'As we follow hunting here in Norfolk I decided we should do something.

'Not everyone can get to Wales for the funeral so I spoke to his dad and asked if they would mind.

The order of service Joanne Furse has designed for Bradley's memorial. Photo: Joanne Furse

The order of service Joanne Furse has designed for Bradley's memorial. Photo: Joanne Furse - Credit: Archant


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'He said 'I don't know how I can ever thank you enough.''

The organiser added: 'My son was bullied at school and he's a proper country child like Bradley was.

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'That could have been us in their shoes.

'Bradley knew everything there was to know about hunting.

'I've grown up as a country girl and I was bullied at school a lot because I enjoyed hunting too. It's been in the blood.

'I know most people don't like it but everyone is entitled to their own opinion about everything and bullying should never take place.'

She said she ended up homeschooling her son due to bullying, and wanted to pay tribute to Bradley.

Bradley's father, Byron John, described his son as having 'a commitment beyond his years.

'He loved horses and hounds and people and always gave his all. He was so enthusiastic.'

The memorial will be held on Cromer pier on Monday, October 8, the same day as his funeral, and attendees should arrive at 10.45am for an 11am start.

The woman said: 'We're going to release flowers out to sea and have a service at the end of the pier.

'It's a chance for the hunting community in Norfolk to pay their respects.

'I've got a wreath shaped like a hunting horn and people can wear burgundy and yellow - the colour of Bradley's hunting jacket.'

She added: 'We are going to go to Wales to visit them next year in Camarthenshire.'

Bradley, a pupil at St John Lloyd Catholic Comprehensive in Llanelli, Wales, died in hospital on Wednesday, September 12, after an incident at the school.

The hunting community has started a social media campaign in his memory: #BlowforBradley.

An inquest into Bradley's death opened in Camarthenshire on Monday, September 17.

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