Hannah killed just as she was 'flourishing into a woman'

"Precious and fragile" were words used by friends and family to describe the intelligent teenager whose life was squeezed out of her just as she was "flourishing into a woman", aged only 17.

Hannah Foster, who was known for her beaming smile and caring nature, was tipped to be a great future academic success having already excelled at her GCSEs with 11 A* grades.



With a wide range of interests and abilities, Hannah had a full spectrum of choices ahead of her: she was praised at school and college for her success in sciences and humanities but her heart was set on studying medicine at university.



Hannah wanted to be like her mother Hilary, a cardiac nurse, and to prove to her parents that she had what it took to become a doctor.



And in memory of her aspirations to help others, Hannah's parents set up a memorial fund, with proceeds going to the volunteer emergency doctor service Basics (British Association for Immediate Care).



Mrs Foster said: "Hannah was always a very happy person. One of those sort of children with a ready smile.



"You know that expression people say about flourishing into a young woman, that was what we were witnessing.



"She was just the sort of girl that you just always felt proud of."



Mr Foster added: "We as a family are devastated by the loss of Hannah.



"Hannah was a warm, kind-hearted 17-year-old girl who could always see good in others."





Mr Foster added: "She was always very protective, that's the one thing that struck me: how protective she was to her younger sister.



"If ever I was telling Sarah off, she'd always try to pacify me or take the blame."



Intelligent but in no way a boffin, Hannah was a normal teenager who enjoyed going to the pub with her friends, although she was not one for drinking to excess, and loved rock music - her favourite band was the Red Hot Chili Peppers.



In her first year at Barton Peveril College, in Eastleigh, Hannah gained five AS qualifications: four A grades in geology, chemistry, biology and history, and one B grade in fine art.



At the time of her death, she had gone on to study A-levels in the four subjects she had got an A in.



Vice principal Pat Mullins said: "She was one of the most able students in her year group.



"She wanted to be a doctor because she felt it would be a career which would combine her passion for science with her desire to care for others.



"She believed it would provide her with the opportunity for continuous learning and involve her in the welfare of the community.



"She had completed a work placement at Southampton General Hospital the previous summer which had confirmed her aspiration and we believe she would have made an inspirational doctor."



Mrs Mullins said that a memorial tree - "Hannah's Tree" - had been planted at the college.



She added: "As well as being an outstanding student academically, the staff at Barton Peveril remember her as lively, enthusiastic, full of fun but with a sensitive and thoughtful approach to life.



"She was musical, she played the flute, but she also enjoyed working with others in different ways and was completing her Duke of Edinburgh award.



"She was simply loved by her friends and this was obvious at the memorial services held at the college."



Classmate Hannah McGranaghan said she was a very popular girl.



She said: "Hannah was quiet, caring and had many friends. She was always happy to help and was rarely seen around college without a smile on her face.



"This tragedy shocked everyone. Her parents and Barton Peveril College have done, and are still doing, a lot in her memory, showing just how much she meant to the people that knew her.



"Thanks to them, she will never be forgotten."



Another friend, Leanne Murdoch, said in the months after her death that Hannah impressed fellow pupils with her intelligence but was always modest.



She said: "Of all the people in this world, Hannah deserved it least. She was so precious and fragile and would never have hurt a fly.



"If she ever thought you were having a bad day, she would try to brighten you up."



Leanne said that Hannah believed in peace and, ahead of her time, was very aware of environmental issues.



She said: "Hannah was very plucky and determined and was mentally very tough and solid - there's no way she would have left this world without a fight.



"It's so sad because she had everything planned. Her future was all laid out before her and now it's been taken away.



"Hannah always said she wanted to follow in her mum's footsteps, who was a nurse, but get the qualifications to be a doctor. She was so intelligent. I never knew anyone who loved schoolwork so much."



More than 300 people turned out for Hannah's funeral which was held at her community church, Highfield Church, just around the corner from her home in Grosvenor Road, Southampton.



Hannah's former history teacher Anne Richardson paid tribute to her, saying: "She was possessed of an extraordinary intellect."



And her former English teacher Clive Pitts, from Cantell School in Bassett, said: "She was just a wonderful young lady.



"I can't begin to make sense of Hannah's tragedy but what I do know is that I will remember her forever and I am grateful to have been her English teacher."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence