Tributes to Longbenton 'warrior' Mercy Cuthbertson, 6, as she's laid to rest in moving service


The North Tyneside six-year-old who won hearts across the world in her brave fight against an incurable brain tumour has been laid to rest.

Friends, family, teachers, and more turned up to St Bartholomew's Church in Forest Hall to say their last goodbyes to Mercy Cuthbertson. Known to her parents as the "Little Commander", she died on Sunday, May 19 in their arms, just over a year after she was diagnosed with an incurable DIPG (diffuse midline glioma).

On Friday morning, Mercy's coffin arrived at the church in a horse-drawn carriage accompanied by floral tributes in the shape of her family's two beloved Bichon-frise dogs, Teddy and Coco Junior. Several mourners wore pink ribbons, which Mercy had loved to put in her hair.

An emotional religious service opened with Nearer my God to Thee performed by Nordsee, before the congregation sung the hymn The Lord is my Shepherd. Tony Pitt read out a tribute on behalf of Mercy's parents, serving Northumbria Police officers Paul and Lorraine, which described her as a "mini commander".

The tribute shared some of the couple's most treasured and funniest memories with their daughter, painting the picture of a funny, headstrong, and - above all - adored little girl. On her favourite joke, they said: "She never got sick of telling it, and we never got sick of laughing."

Mercy Cuthbertson's coffin is taken to its final resting place
Mercy Cuthbertson's coffin is taken to its final resting place -Credit:Newcastle Chronicle

The tribute said: "Mercy was always in charge, we just never realised it at the time. Her sense of humour and laugh was infectious.

"She was sporty, disciplined, and would have been anything she wanted in life. Her spirit will live on.

"Mercy wasn’t defined by her brain tumour diagnosis, she was defined by the way she carried on as if nothing happened. Mercy wasn't a victim; she was a fighter, a warrior, a legend."

Six-year-old Mercy Cuthbertson
Six-year-old Mercy Cuthbertson -Credit:Newcastle Chronicle

The tribute was followed by the Poem Angel by Christelle Dardagos, which was read by Helen Watson; and readings from the bible by Reverend Mark Oliver and close family friend Elizabeth Biggins, the latter of whom was instrumental in fundraising for treatment, specialist care, and equipment during Mercy's fight.

Mourners left the church to Pompeii by Bastille, with Mercy's immediate family accompanying her coffin to her final resting place.

A mourner leaves a floral tribute to Mercy Cuthbertson. Charity Mercy's Mighty Fight has been set up in her name
A mourner leaves a floral tribute to Mercy Cuthbertson. Charity Mercy's Mighty Fight has been set up in her name -Credit:Newcastle Chronicle

Several floral tributes were left to the little one, while others donated to the charity Mercy's Mighty Foundation, which is being set up in her name. Parents Paul and Lorraine hope that their foundation will help other families find time away with their seriously ill children, and want to provide respite support and cover "little things" that families can struggle when dealing with such heartbreaking circumstances.