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.

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

12:30
Ollie holding his cards next to his mum Karen.

When single mum Karen Jones discovered her autistic son making himself birthday cards because he has no friends, she set upon a crusade – appealing to strangers to make his special day one to remember.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30

Youths have been warned about entering a ‘dangerous’ derelict building in Sidford.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:23
The syringe found in the phone box.

A dog walker was shocked to find a syringe in a Sidmouth phone box (pictured).

Read more
Yesterday, 13:33
Students from Sidmouth College received their GCSE results. Connie Champain and Charlotte Bond are all smiles. Ref shs 34-16AW 4595. Picture: Alex Walton.

Sidmouth College pupils are celebrating picking up another set of ‘fabulous’ GCSE results.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00
Pecorama cheque presentation to Parkinsons UK.

Pecorama near Beer has raised £1,500 for charity, split equally between Parkinson’s UK and the MS Society.

Read more
Wed, 16:59
Dropped kerb could soon be installed opposite Abbeyfield Court in Sidmouth

Appeal from residents to assist people with mobility problems has been listened to

Read more
Wed, 16:30
The Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan logo

The protection of the Sid Valley’s natural beauty is among residents’ top concerns, a major questionnaire has revealed.

Read more
Wed, 15:39
Hot Pennies is a traditional part of Sidbury Fair week. Ref shs 0906-38-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Organisers of Sidbury Fair Week are looking forward to another packed programme to bring the community together.

Read more
Wed, 14:25
Mark Wakely is counting on your votes.

Public support has sent a Sidmouth plumber into the final of a national competition.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

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

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications