'Our Nell was so happy and full of life'

A CLIFTON girl suddenly taken from her family has been remembered as their “Princess Nell”, a nine year old who was the life of the party and always on the move.

Nell Margaret Gene Gilbert, the youngest of Bruce and Trish Gilbert's six children, lost her life in a tragic accident at her family farm on Sunday afternoon.

Clifton Police said they believed she became entangled after falling while climbing on a horse float.

Mr and Mrs Gilbert recalled the wonderful attributes which made up their “very special” daughter.

“She loved to sing, dance, play the harmonica and whistle. She was always whistling,” Mrs Gilbert said.

“Nell could entertain anything and anybody,” Mr Gilbert added.

“She even used to cut her own hair, loved to dress up and was good at karaoke; she could go on all day.”

The couple remembered their “princess”, a Warwick West State School pupil, who was a fighter from the day she was born.

“Nell had Down Syndrome but she was very lucky to have minimal health issues,” Mrs Gilbert said.

“She could climb out of her cot before she could walk. She was loved by all.”

Mr Gilbert said Nell was the only child in the family to escape from Treasure Island, the childcare centre in Clifton.

“She was double jointed and managed to climb over the child-proof fence,” he said.

“She was like lightning when she got going.”

Nell's sister Sarah, 14, smiled as she reminisced on her sister's love for performing.

“Once at pony club, Nell grabbed a microphone and started singing Hey Baby,” Sarah said.

“She just loved singing and performing. The more noise she made, the better,” her father added.

Nell's favourite activities also included swimming, baking, photography, fishing, pretty clothes, make-up, riding horses and “grinning and laughing even when she was in trouble”.

“Her older siblings roused on her and she just roused right back,” Mrs Gilbert said.

“She would also tell us off in sign language.”

Nell's eldest sister Anita, 29, said her sons Jack, seven, and Charlie, eight months, adored their aunt.

“They were always playing together. My last memory of Nell is her dancing in front of the window,” Anita said.

Nell's aunt Janiene Jones said the tragedy had “left a big hole in everyone's hearts”.

“Nell is going to be missed by everyone who ever knew her. Anyone who knew her loved her.”

Nell will be farewelled early next week.

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