NEWS
17/07/2015 13:38 BST | Updated 17/07/2016 06:12 BST

Hundreds Mourn Tunisia Massacre Victims Who 'Stayed Together To The Last'

Hundreds of mourners have gathered to pay their respects to three members of the same family who were murdered in the Tunisia beach massacre.

The joint funeral of 19-year-old Joel Richards, his uncle Adrian Evans and the teenager's grandfather, Charles Patrick Evans, heard that they tried to protect each other even in their final moments.

Joel's 16-year-old brother Owen, who survived the attack, and their mother Suzanne were among around 700 people who attended the service in West Bromwich, West Midlands.

Adrian Evans, a 49-year-old gas service manager, 78-year-old Charles Evans, known to friends as Pat, and Joel were killed within 24 hours of arriving in Tunisia.

Addressing those inside the Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church and around 200 people who gathered outside to listen to the service, Monsignor Bruce Harbert said his thoughts and prayers were with Owen.

Paying tribute to all three victims, the clergyman said: "Even in their last moments they stayed together, seeking to protect each other, a true Christian family to the end.

"Happily, Owen is still with us. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Owen, wishing you a long, happy and fruitful life, supported by the prayer of your brother, your uncle and your grandfather.

"A lot has been said in recent days about the good they did - Pat's long contribution to the life of the community here in Stone Cross, the respect in which Adrian was held by his colleagues, and the love the children at St Mary's School felt for Joel as he worked with them in the last few weeks."

Msgr Harbert described the men's murder in the resort of Sousse three weeks ago as "an evil act".

"What happened to them is part of a much larger picture, a global conflict," he said.

"This is often spoken of as an attack on British values. But there are no true British values that are not also Christian values, in particular, the value of freedom."