Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Father of British man, 26, killed by Hamas pays tribute at his funeral

Grieving father of ‘hero’ British man, 26, killed during Hamas festival massacre tells 1,000 mourners at his funeral his family’s tears ‘burn our souls to the very core’

The father of a 26-year-old Briton killed during the Hamas attack on a music festival today paid tribute to his ‘hero’ son and said the family’s tears for him ‘burn our souls to the very core’.

Jake Marlowe was working as a security guard at the weekend-long outdoor music event in southern Israel when the site was surrounded by heavily armed terrorists more than ten days ago.

The assailants went on to murder at least 260 people.

The last anyone heard from Jake was when he texted his mother, Lisa, to tell her rockets were flying overhead at the Nova festival before later messaging friends to say he was still trying to get people to safety.

His heartbroken parents, who live in Potters Bar in Hertfordshire, confirmed his death in a Facebook post last week on Wednesday.

As many as 1,000 mourners attended Jake’s funeral in person and online today  which took place in Enfield and had security and police stationed outside.

Grieving family and friends gathered around Jake’s coffin, which rested on a raised trolley and was draped in the Israeli flag.

Speaking at the Jewish funeral, Jake’s father, Michael, said: ‘How can we come to terms that we will never see our baby boy again?

The father of 26-year-old Jake Marlowe, a Briton killed during the Hamas attack on a music festival paid tribute to his ‘hero’ son and said the family’s tears for him ‘burn our souls to the very core’

As many as 1,000 mourners attended Jake’s funeral in person and online today which took place in Enfield and had security and police stationed outside

‘Over my lifetime I have cried many times…I cried tears of joy when Lisa got pregnant first with Jake, then with Natasha…these tears for Jake are altogether different, they burn our eyes…and they burn our souls to the very core.

‘They leave us utterly distraught and totally desolate.

‘How can we as parents be here today to bury our son Jake at such a young age?

‘This was not in the book of dreams, those chapters are made up of fun, laughter, happiness, joy, success and good times.’ He paid tribute to his ‘charismatic’ ‘loving’ and ‘fiercely loyal’ son, who was an Arsenal fan and a talented metal musician who had toured the world with his band before training as a carpenter and moving to Israel two years ago.

Jake was also a ‘protective’ big brother to his sister, Natasha, who is autistic, and would ‘take her calls night and day’, Mr Marlowe said.

Jake also had a partner in Israel called Shira, who he was ‘besotted’ with.

Mr Marlowe told mourners how he travelled to Israel in search of his son, handing over his DNA and other information to officials to help locate him.

He spoke movingly about how he went to identify his beloved son, gently unwinding the bandages on his head so he could give him ‘one last kiss on his face’ and take some cuttings of his hair.

‘Those moments will never leave me until my dying days. I kissed him on both cheeks and told him I loved him.

Jake’s father, Michael, said: ‘How can we as parents be here today to bury our son Jake at such a young age? ‘This was not in the book of dreams’

‘My son, my boy, my love, my hero. We are utterly bereft, and you will be in our hearts forever.’ Rabbi Steven Katz, emeritus rabbi of Edgware and Hendon Reform synagogue, north London, who led the funeral service, told mourners there are ‘no words or theology’ that can explain why ‘hundreds in Israel were brutally and deliberately targeted for death – many like Jake, young, died before they had an opportunity to live, and to love’.

Addressing Mr and Mrs Marlowe, he said: ‘You have been catapulted onto a rollercoaster of overwhelming bone-deep emotions, emotions of shock, horror, anguish, and heartbreak.

‘Within all of us, there is an anger, a rage and a sadness which cannot be adequately expressed.

‘If there were words that could ever be spoken that could soften such throbbing pain, I have not heard them.

‘If there were ever lines written that could dry the rivers of grief, I have not read them.’ Rabbi Katz told the Mail he knew the family ‘very well’ and had officiated at bar mitzvahs for both Michael and his son.

He said ‘apart from the shared shock and grief’, there was ‘a real unity’ in singing the Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem, at the end of the service.

‘It was arguably the loudest piece in the service, everyone joining in singing with this message of hope, hope for better times, hope for more peaceful times for all.’ Jake’s childhood friend, Daniel and his fiancee Lea, also gave moving eulogies, with Lea saying that she would name any future son they might have after their fallen friend.

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