No corner of the community left untouched by tragedy

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The Independent Online
It is a tragedy that has overflowed into every corner of Dunblane. There is no one in the shattered town who does not know of a family which has lost a child, with a bereavement on nearly every road leading up to the primary school, where 16 pupils died.

Among the grieving parents, in the community of 7,000 people, are a part-time grocer's assistant, an electrician, the widow of a university professor, and an employee at the local water treatment works, whose family had moved to Scotland only six months ago.

The Dunn family arrived in Dunblane after Martyn, 37, took up a job at the Purac water treatment plant in Stirling. Barbara, 38, joined him last September with Alex, three, and Charlotte, 5, in time for her to start the new term at the school where a nightmare unfolded this week.

Their former neighbours in Cradley, West Midlands, remembered Charlotte, who was among the children shot fatally on Tuesday morning, as a happy and pretty little girl, who was adored by her parents. "She used to play in the paddling pool in our garden in the summer, she was a great kid," said Stephen Jones.

The news of Charlotte's death was broken to pupils at her former school in Cradley yesterday morning by Philip Raybould, the head teacher. Her former class teacher was among those who were devastated by the news. Mr Raybould said: "Charlotte had sent a letter to her a few weeks ago saying she loved it in Scotland, but she was missing everybody."

There was also bewilderment among the neighbours who remembered the children who played along their streets in Dunblane. Two of the dead children, Brett McKinnon, 6, whose mother works at the local grocer's, and Joanna Ross, 5, lived on George Street, where they were often seen together.

Joanna's father, Kenneth, who works as an electrician, said: "She was the apple of my eye. She was just snapped away."

For Dr Kathryn Morton, a cytologist who was working at the Stirling Royal Infirmary when the casualties arrived from Dunblane, it was a particularly cruel way to discover the tragedy at the school her daughter Emily, 5, attended.

She dropped her professional duties to join the other parents in the agonising wait to learn what had become of their children, only to find Emily was among the dead. Alan Hunter, chief executive at the hospital, said: "Every member of staff in the hospital is deeply saddened by the death of Kathryn's daughter."

On Springfield Terrace, neighbours remembered John Petrie, 5, the only child of Ellen and Sandy, who works for a plastics company. "He was a lovely wee boy. When I went out to walk my boxer dog, Ben, little John would come up to him to say hello," said Vivien Pope, tearfully. "He was sweet because he was a bit scared of him at first, but he got braver and had begun to reach out to pat him."

The parents were only beginning the struggle to accept that their children, whose toys still filled their bedrooms, would not be coming home. Victoria Clydesdale's mother, Lynne, remembered: "She said six bye-byes to me as she went down the path to school. Now I'll never see her again."


Charlotte Dunn,

aged 6, from Springfield


Moved to Dunblane from

the West Midlands with

her parents, and younger

brother Alex, aged three,

six months ago. She wrote to her old school last

month to tell them she

loved it in Scotland, but

was missing everybody.


Joanna Ross, aged 5, from George Street.

Her mother, Pamela, a bank worker, gave birth to a baby daughter three months ago. Her father, Kenneth, 32, an electrician, said: "She was the apple of my eye. She was just snapped away. I just can't believe it." Joanna was often seen playing locally with Brett McKinnon.


Mhairi McBeath, aged 5, from Kilbryde


Her mother, Isobel, was at a memorial service for her husband, a

professor at Stirling

University who died of a stroke last year, when she learned of her daughter's death.



Clydesdale, aged 5, from

Drummond Rise.

Her mother, Lynne, wanted her to stay off school on the day of the tragedy because she had a rash, but Victoria insisted because she loved gym lessons.

Her mother said: "She said six bye-byes to me as she went down the path to school. Now I'll never see her again.


Sophie North, aged 5, from Bridgend.

Father's name Michael.

Her mother died of cancer two years ago.


Emily Morton,

aged 5, from Doune Road

Her mother, Dr Kathryn

Morton - a cytologist at at

Stirling Royal Infirmary,

where dead and injured

children were taken - heard of the tragedy as the

casualties arrived.



Crozier, aged 5, from Montrose Way.

The daughter of Alison and John. Her red toy spade lay on the garden path where she had left it. She was described by a neighbour yesterday as being "lively, charming and bright". She often used to play in her neighbour's garden with her toddler brother, Jack.


Hannah Scott, aged 5, from Ochiltree.


Ross Irvine, aged 5, from Atholl Place.



Currie, aged 5, from Braemar


Parents Graham and Helen. Her young brother told people: "My sister has been killed. She is dead. The bad man did it at

the school."


Kevin Hasell, aged 5, from

Hillside Avenue.

His grandmother, Betty Hassell, said: "We just can't believe what's

happened to our wee Kevin. It's unreal.

It's just a nightmare." His best friend was Robbie Hurst, aged 5, who escaped unscathed when Hamilton opened fire on the children.


John Petrie,

aged 5, from Springfield


He was the only child of Sandy and Ellen. Sandy, 44, works for a plastics company. John was described by his neighbour as a "lovely wee boy with a cheeky face". He was close friends with Brett McKinnon, who also died.



McKinnon, aged 6, from George Street.

Mother Heather, separated, worked as a part-time

assistant in the local

grocers. "Brett was always immaculate but he was a typical wee boy too, he was always enjoying himself," said a friend. He and John Petrie used to visit the

local pet shop together on their bicycles.


David Kerr,

aged 5, from Menteith View.

Catholic priest, Canon

Basil O' Sullivan, helped

the family identify his body.

He said: "David was

dressed in white, and

looked like a little angel."




aged 5, from

Roman Way.

Her parents, Elizabeth

and Duncan, and her two sisters, had just moved

back to Scotland from

the Far East.


Megan Turner, aged 5, from Backcroft.

Her mother Karen, 31, is a nursery nurse and her father, Willie, 37, works in an electrical shop. They have a son, Duncan, aged 3. Her mother said: "She was so full of life, always jumping and running. She stood on her head more than she stood on her feet. She was wonderful and she was so, so special to us."