Great Britain

London Bridge attack victim Saskia Jones was 'full of talents and strength'

A thanksgiving service for a Cambridge graduate killed in the London Bridge terrorist attack heard how her memory “will be shining forever”, as a former teacher paid tribute.

Saskia Jones, 23, from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, was killed alongside 25-year-old Jack Merritt by Usman Khan during an event at Fishmongers’ Hall in central London last month. Khan was shot dead by police at the scene.

On Friday, Jones’ mother, Michelle Jones, and other family members attended a memorial service, having attended a private funeral earlier in the day. The service, led by the Rev Patrick Taylor, was held at Holy Trinity church, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Taylor urged those attending to “keep on telling her story”. He praised Jones as “somebody who rolled up her sleeves and did something about it”.

Speaking after the attack, Jones’ loved ones had paid tribute to a “brilliant, caring daughter”, who had applied to become a police officer. They said they had been left devastated by her death in London, where she had been among those attending a prisoner rehabilitation event.

Hundreds of mourners heard the Rev Michael Price, the deputy headteacher of Bloxham school, where she had studied, say Jones was a “life shaper”, a woman of courage who would never be forgotten.

“She made me laugh: she could be very funny,” he said, to laughter from those at the service. He said she was “full of talents – full of strength”. Price added: “She was, at school, a hockey goalkeeper, and the sort of character you’ve got to be for that was Saskia, wasn’t it? None shall pass. She had to be the best she could possibly be. She wanted to learn how to be the best. That was typical of Saskia.

“She led in sport, she led in life, she led in school, she was a champion public speaker, she was an essential leader of our choir – she had a beautiful, beautiful voice. She just led, really.”

He said a book of condolence at the school had been filled with memories, adding: “Saskia was a life shaper, and they will never forget her. Never.” Price said she had graduated with a first from Cambridge, and got 100% for her dissertation. “If I have single narrative to tell, it is of a young woman who took time to know the talents and the strengths the rest of us could always see,” he added.

He said she had given her time generously, working for an eating disorder group, a rape crisis centre, carrying out prison visits and also with the Living Together group in Cambridge.

“She was going to do extraordinary things,” said Price. “The police were going be so blessed by having a girl with all her talents. Saskia understood both the rule of law and the law of love, and she’d got them both, and knew that both were essential.”

The service concluded with the playing of the James Blunt track The Greatest. The family requested donations for Warwickshire and Northamptonshire air ambulance.