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

Sunday, May 24, 2015
The Ottery 10K run took place at the weekend. Ref sho 6997-21-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

A popular 10-kilometre run through Ottery St Mary made a successful return after a three-year break - with hundreds of fleet-footed fundraisers taking part in aid of a cancer charity.

Read more
Sunday, May 24, 2015
The cut out card

This small item is just one of the objects featured in a new exhibition at Sidmouth Museum.

Read more
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Dan Lavery of the Devon Freewheelers. Ref exe 1231-13-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Dan Lavery is determined Devon Freewheelers will help save lives – as a Belfast ‘hidden hero’ undoubtedly helped saved wife Shelley’s life in 2005.

Read more
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Afternoon tea for Nancy Bowstead an RBL member for 70 years. Ref shs 6853-21-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

A registered blind Royal British Legion (RBL) stalwart of seven decades is saying goodbye to Sidmouth - but will continue to raise money for the cause at the age of 93.

Read more
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Sam Bader

Dad-of-one Sam Bader, 28, who grew up in Ottery St Mary, supports Devon Freewheelers by sponsoring one of the motorbikes, Bravo One.

Read more
Friday, May 22, 2015
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

Independent councillors call for extraordinary meeting to debate the office relocation

Read more
Friday, May 22, 2015
Dan Lavery of the Devon Freewheelers. Ref exe 1256-13-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Devon Freewheelers founder Daniel Lavery will do whatever it takes to keep his lifeline service on the road so other families can receive the same help and care that saved his wife’s life.

Read more
Friday, May 22, 2015
Tanya Trevena with girl guides from Honiton and Sidmouth at the weekend collecting for her sailing challenge.

Guides from Sidmouth and Honiton did their best to help one of their own - as she prepares for a five-day sailing challenge.

Read more
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Devon County Show 2012. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exe 9931-20-12AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on Myphotos24

Organisers of the Devon County Show are putting the final touches to the county’s largest annual event, which opens today (Thursday) and runs until May 23 at Westpoint, Exeter.

Read more
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
The Admiral Nurse campaign launches at St Francis Hall. Ref shs 6123-20-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

A ‘phenomenally important appeal for Sidmouth’ – to help people living with dementia and their carers by bringing a crucial, specialist service to the valley – was launched this week.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 12°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
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

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



Devon's trusted business finder