Avalanche victim Tom’s family ‘touched’ by tributes

08:00 28 January 2013

Tom Chesters, 28, a PhD student from Ottery who died in an avalanche in Scotland last weekend.

Tom Chesters, 28, a PhD student from Ottery who died in an avalanche in Scotland last weekend.

Archant

THE family of a popular student killed by an avalanche in Scotland have described the response to a fundraising effort in his memory as “staggering”.

Nearly £3,000 had yesterday been donated to a JustGiving page in honour of Tom Chesters, 28, within hours of it being set up - as glowing tributes were paid from across the country.

Tom, who grew up in Ottery St Mary, died along with his girlfriend Rachel Majumdar, 29, and two other pals in the accident near Glencoe on Saturday.

“He was doing something he loved, in a place he loved, with the girl he loved,” his dad, John, told the Herald.

John and his wife Ruth, of Slade Close, said they “feared the worst” when they heard of the incident on the early evening news.

Those fears were realised when police visited their home to deliver bad news at midnight.

Tom’s big brother Ben, who declined the chance to go on the tragic trip, now wants to net cash for the mountain rescue team involved by taking on the Grizzly Run in March.

“Tom had half-mentioned that Ben should go with him, but he declined,” said John, who thanked well-wishers for messages of support.

“We are grateful for that. To lose one son is bad enough.”

He described the amount of money contributed towards 34-year-old Ben’s bid as “phenomenal”.

“There have been so many glowing comments about Tom,” he added.

District council employee Ben, who lives in Sidmouth, said: “We are one of four families who are victims of a tragic accident.

“It’s motivated me to get some good out of something awful.

“Tom ran the Grizzly, it’s an event he liked, and they have a memorial for absent friends.

“It’s been quite hard, but touching, to read all the messages on the JustGiving page. People’s generosity has been staggering and I know Tom would be humbled by that.”

Tom, a former student at Ottery St Mary Primary School and The King’s School, was studying for a PhD in medical engineering in Hull.

He was said to be one of Britain’s best competitive orienteerers with a promising future.

Tom was among a group of six experienced climbers who were descending Bidean Nam Bian on Saturday when the avalanche struck at about 2pm.

Jeff Abbott, 28, who was a school friend of Tom, said: “He was one of those guys who you just couldn’t help but like and admire - you never heard anyone have a bad word to say about him.

“I know how sorely he will be missed.”

● To back Ben’s Grizzly bid visit: www.justgiving.com/Ben-Chesters

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 11:02
Baby Beaver.
Tom Buckley/Devon Wildlife Trust

Residents eager to find out more about the first baby beavers born on the River Otter are invited to attend a public meeting.

Read more
Wed, 16:33
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7712-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

A £500,000 budget has been proposed for the district council to provide dedicated gypsy sites across East Devon.

Read more
Wed, 12:29
Alan Durrant, chairman of Sid Vale Association, presents Dr Duncan Hall of the Beacon Medical Centre with a donation towards the planting of trees and shrubs around the grounds. Ref shs 9545-25-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth’s multimillion-pound medical centre has received a boost to its £16,000 project to improve the look of its car park.

Read more
Tue, 18:30
Wood(bury) Stock 2015. Doctors Orders. Photo: Neil Ewins.

A successful blues, roots and folk music festival took place recently at Woodbury’s Malsters Arms.

Read more
Tue, 12:29
Branscombe Preschool achieved an 'outstanding' result from their latest Ofsted inspection. Ref shb 9478-25-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Ofsted has give staff at Branscombe Pre-school top marks for their “innovative and exciting programme” after their latest inspection.

Read more
Tue, 11:00
Devon County Council is planning to close Green Close Care Home to cut costs

Sidmouth’s Green Close is being offered for tender and could reopen as a care home, offer other social care – or be converted into housing.

Read more
Tue, 06:33
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7712-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

The welfare of an endangered bat population at East Devon District Council’s Knowle site could be in jeopardy if planned building works go ahead, say worried residents.

Read more
St Saviours

Hopes of creating a new community hub and premises for Ottery Library have been dashed as county councillors ‘dug in their feet’ over conditions.

Read more
Mon, 16:19

Police have issued the all-clear after suspicious packages found in Exeter city centre have been safely dealt with.

Read more
Mon, 15:27

Parts of Exeter city centre remain out of bounds after suspicious packages were found this morning (Monday).

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 15°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition



Devon's trusted business finder