Girl of five takes British death toll to 34

Click to follow

The British death toll rose to 34 yesterday as it emerged that the disaster had killed a British girl aged five.

Isabella Peatfield, from Mappleton near Ashbourne in Derbyshire, the youngest known British victim of the tragedy, was on a family holiday in Sri Lanka.

Her mother Kim, 40, and father Tristan, 39, who have a 10-year-old son Oliver still in the UK, were to return home yesterday. Although her identity has not been confirmed, teachers at her primary school said they were anxiously waiting for news about one of their pupils caught up in the tragedy.

Meanwhile outside Isabella's school, Ilam Primary in Ashbourne, a bouquet was laid beside a tree with a card that read: "In our thoughts and prayers, we remember you giggling and bouncing at a recent party. Giggle and bounce in heaven."

Gareth and Floryda Smith and their two sons Joshua, six, and Zerubbabel, nine, are still missing in Indonesia where they were visiting their grandmother. The family had gone to visit Mrs Smith's mother on the island of Sipora, north-west of Sumatra, according to their vicar. The Rev Thomas McKinlay of Herne Bay Baptist Church in Kent said: "We hope they're still alive but we are being realistic about their chances. They made quite good preparations for communications but none of us, including close family members, have received any information."

The frantic search for Piers Simon, 33, from Yeovil, Somerset, who was swept away from outside a café on the island of Koh Phi Phi ended in sadness yesterday. His brother Luke, 30, who works as a teacher in northern Thailand, identified Piers' body in Krabi from photographs.

The brothers' father, Harry Simon, 58, said: "It's just heartbreaking, Luke phoned us this morning with the news. The body was identified by Luke from photographs - there was no doubt about it. Piers' passport was in the pocket of his shorts along with the passport of one of his friends. We as a family want to make a tribute to Piers but at the moment it's just a bit too raw.

"I would just like to say thanks to all the Thai people who have gone out of their way to help Luke look for Piers.

"They have been fantastic. Many lost members of their own families but still were willing to help Luke at every step."

The confirmation came after hopes were falsely raised earlier in the week. A man aged 33 with a similar sounding name was treated in a local hospital and a similar name to Piers' appeared on a list of survivors on an Italian website.

The death of Holly Riddle, who was in her early twenties, from Nutbourne, West Sussex, was also confirmed yesterday. She was on holiday in Krabi, Thailand with her father Nicholas, mother Sally and sister Mazie, six, when the waves struck. Five days after the tsunami struck, relatives were flying out to the disaster zone in a desperate search for their loved ones, though most admitted they held out little hope.

The brother and cousin of Ross Baker, 26, a talented singer from Devon, were due to fly out to Thailand to search for him. Mr Baker was staying with friends on Koh Phi Phi on Boxing Day and failed to meet friends as arranged in Bangkok. His father Steve Baker, from South Brent, Devon, said: "I don't really hold a great deal of hope. It has been nearly a week now but there is a chance. People say that they feel numb in these situations, and that is exactly how I feel. You are totally impotent."

Ross was taking a break from his part as the Jewish violinist Schlomo Metzenbaum in a nine-month touring production of Fame.A group of friends he met in Thailand contacted his father to say he spent Christmas Day with them on Koh Phi Phi, but had gone missing after the tsunami had struck.

Two daughters of Joy Sunderland, 77, of Stamford, Lincolnshire, have flown out to help search for their mother, who was on holiday with her husband Arthur when she was swept away.

The parents of Charlotte Jones, 23, from Petersfield, Hampshire, have flown to Phuket "praying for a miracle". Ms Jones, a Bristol University graduate, was waiting for a boat on the beach on the island of Racha Yai when a wave hit. Fears were also growing for a father of three, Stephen Magson, 54, from York, who remains missing in Phuket.

Jon Hughes, 33, from Leeds, who was on holiday on Koh Phi Phi, is also missing although his girlfriend Sally Shearing is being treated for leg injuries in a Bangkok hospital.

Concern was also mounting for Barbara McTaggart, 29, and her boyfriend Craig Stanley, 30, from Barnsley who were on holiday in Thailand.