March 22, 1996 in Nation/World

Dunblane Buries Last Of Shooting Victims

Associated Press

Wreaths shaped like cars and motorcycles - even one in the form of a Power Ranger - dotted 13th-century Dunblane Cathedral on Thursday as mourners held the final funerals for victims of last week’s primary school massacre.

The congregation at the service for 6-year-old Brett McKinnon remembered him with a popular poem by A.A. Milne that begins: “When I was one, I had just begun, when I was two I was nearly new.”

It ends: “But now I’m six, I’m as clever as clever, So I think I’ll be six now forever and ever.”

More than 500 people filled the cathedral earlier in the day for the funeral of teacher Gwenne Mayor, 45, killed March 13 with 16 of her young pupils when a gunman burst into their gym class.

Addressing the mourners, including many pupils, Dunblane teacher Stuart McCombie said: “Boys and girls, when you think of Mrs. Mayor, be happy. Don’t be sad. Mrs. Mayor will never forget any of you. Remember her lovely smiling face, and her wonderful songs.”

McCombie added: “Gwen has taught, and enriched the lives, of hundreds of pupils over the years.”

Many shops and banks were closed during the service, and streets were nearly deserted. In the cathedral square, small groups gathered in silence, even though the service was not relayed on loudspeakers.

Ross Irvine, 5, was buried later in the town of Ayr, 60 miles away.

Five children and two adults remain in the hospital.

Classes are to resume at Dunblane Primary School on Friday for the first time since 43-year-old Thomas Hamilton attacked the class. Hamilton, who came to the school armed with four guns, also killed himself.

In a letter to the queen in the week before the massacre, Hamilton said he was being wrongly labeled a pervert because of his youth work with young boys.

Although Hamilton owned his guns lawfully, the government on Thursday announced a gun amnesty in an attempt to remove illegally owned weapons from circulation.

Officials from the Home Office, which is responsible for policing, said holders of illegal weapons could hand them in without fear of prosecution, provided they had not been used in a crime.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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