Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

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.


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:


Other News Stories

Yesterday, 19:30
Plans have been lodged for Hillside House

A former hotel and restaurant in Newton Poppleford could be converted into a 13-bed care home.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:30

A temporary tariff of £2 per day will be introduced at Sidmouth’s town centre car parks next week.

Read more
Wed, 18:30
Natasha Koshti.

The Budleigh Salterton Committee for Cancer Research UK is holding an Evening In India on Saturday, November 28, at 7pm in the Public Hall.

Read more
Wed, 17:41
The dip in Temple Street, Sidmouth. Ref shs 7614-48-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Devon County Council has announced drainage works will take place along Temple Street for five weeks from Monday, January 18.

Read more
Wed, 17:28
Cranbrook Railway Station. Ref mhc 3523-37-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

AFTER many postponements, Cranbrook railway station will finally open on Sunday, December 13.

Read more
Wed, 16:12
Police are appealing for help in finding the culprit responsible for recent graffiti tags

One man has been questioned in connection with a recent bout of vandalism and officers are asking for more information or witnesses

Read more
Wed, 12:29
DCC's proposed cycling and walking route between Sidbury and Sidford

County Hall chiefs will soon be submitting plans for a long-awaited walking and cycling trail between Sidbury and Sidford.

Read more
Sainsbury's apologised after new signs were erected wrongly stating its car park is for customer use only

Sainsbury’s confirmed car park is open to everyone and blamed error in wording for misleading notices

Read more
Tue, 19:12
Simon Harris (pictured with his son Noah) has launched a campaign to raise funds for defibrillators in Ottery

‘It’s a no-brainer’ - stark statistics prompt pair to take the initiative and start fundraising bid

Read more
Providing accommodation for gypsies and travellers is a legal requirement that East Devon District Council must meet through its Local Plan

IN A significant development in the proposals to locate a large gypsy and traveller site in Cranbrook, East Devon MP Hugo Swire has urged East Devon District Council to rethink its plans.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 12°C

min temp: 5°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

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

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Find a job in Sidmouth

Find planning applications