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Pupils pay tribute to drowned classmate

PUBLISHED: 14:49 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:26 25 August 2010

A MEMORIAL service was held for the teenager who drowned in the Thames on Christmas Eve.

A MEMORIAL service was held for the teenager who drowned in the Thames on Christmas Eve.

The life of Joshua Beasley, a 17-year-old A-Level student at Thomas Tallis school, was celebrated by friends, family and artists at Blackheath Concert Halls last Friday.

Joshua went ice skating with friends at the Old Royal Naval College on Christmas Eve, 2007, but wandered off and never returned home.

His body was found on Monday, January 21, further up the Thames at Barking.

The memorial for the keen dramatist was attended by hundreds of Thomas Tallis pupils, many of whom stood up and spoke about their memories of Joshua during the two-hour service.

Ruth Harrison, Joshua's mother, said: "The turn out speaks for itself. It is fantastic and the whole point is to celebrate Josh and that is what we are doing.

"It's sad, but at the same time we will have lots of really good memories."

Mr Beasley attended courses with the National Youth Theatre where he managed to secure a place.

At the memorial Joshua's artwork was displayed along with extracts of his writing.

Artists, including students, a band from Thomas Tallis and Joshua's saxophone teacher performed between tributes from friends.

Three poets including Adrian Mitchell, author of anti-war poem To Whom It May Concern read uplifting material whilst poet Benjamin Zephaniah was in attendance.

Classmate Toby Singer, 17, of Hither Green, said the atmosphere at the memorial was very warm.

He added: "I could never work out what was going on in his head. He was a great mate and had his dark and gloomy moments but he was a good laugh."

The memorial raised money for the National Youth Theatre and the Missing People charity.

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