Sousse terror attack: The 30 British victims of Isis gunman's Tunisia beach massacre

Inquest finds Isis gunman's victims were 'unlawfully killed' in 2015

Tuesday 28 February 2017 13:13 GMT
30 of the 38 victims of the massacre were British
30 of the 38 victims of the massacre were British (Getty)

In all, 30 Britons were killed in the Tunisian beach massacre in Sousse, along with three Irish citizens. The inquests at the Royal Courts of Justice into the deaths of the British victims in June 2015 heard often highly personal insights into the lives of those killed and the devastation the attack brought to their families.

The victims were:

Joel Richards, 19

A student at the University of Worcester and aspiring top-flight football referee, who was the youngest of the British victims.

Joel Richards (PA)

Adrian Evans, 49

Joel's uncle, a gas service manager at Sandwell Council in the West Midlands.

Charles Patrick Evans, 78

Joel's grandfather and Mr Evans' father. Suzanne Richards, Joel's mother, said their deaths within 12 hours of arriving in Sousse for a “jolly boys outing” had left the remaining members of her tight-knit family “broken”.

Eileen Swannack, 73 and John Welch, 74

The couple from Wiltshire, who had been together since 2007, were staying at the RIU Imperial Marhaba, a hotel they “adored” and had stayed in every year of their relationship.

Eileen Swannack and John Welch (PA)

Christopher Bell, 59, and Sharon Bell, 54

Mr Bell, a former bus and taxi driver who worked in the ticket office at Leeds railway station, and his wife, who was a carer for people with learning difficulties and rose to a management position, were gunned down by the hotel swimming pool. Relatives said the grandparents were “never happier than when they were surrounded by their family”.

John Stollery, 58

The former paratrooper was on holiday with his wife Cheryl and son Matthew. Mrs Stollery told the inquest her husband was shot dead next to her as the couple tried to flee from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui. Mr Stollery worked for Nottinghamshire County Council for more than three decades, including 16 years dedicated to helping children in care.

David Thompson, 80

The retired scientist from Tadley, Hampshire, was the oldest victim of the attack. The widower, understood to have previously worked for the Atomic Weapons Establishment, was sitting with his long-term partner, Anne Kear, by the hotel pool when the shooting started. Ms Kear, who had been widowed once before, was later taken to the hospital mortuary in Tunis to identify his body. A pen portrait written by her family said: “We will always be grateful to him for looking after Anne.”

Chris Dyer, 32, was killed in the Tunisia massacre at the Imperial Marhaba hotel (Instagram)

Christopher Dyer, 32

He was an engineer who practised jiu-jitsu, from Watford. His wife Gina Van Dort told the inquest how they were shot as they crouched behind a car, trying to hide. She told the hearing Rezgui was very quiet and had a “really unimpressed, blank look” as he walked towards them and opened fire.

Trudy Jones, 51

The divorced single mother-of-four was from Gwent, South Wales. Described by her family as “a caring person who put everyone else before herself”, she had been holidaying with friends when she was shot. She was identified by the glittery nail varnish on her toes, the inquest heard.

Bruce Wilkinson, 72

The former serviceman drove ambulances in Lincolnshire after retiring from working at Drax power station. He was sunbathing with Rita, his wife of 51 years, when the attack started. In a statement, Mrs Wilkinson told the inquest: “I feel I've lost my best friend and my right arm.”

Lisa Burbidge, 66

The widowed grandmother-of-four from Whickham, Gateshead, was shot and killed on the beach on the 10th anniversary of her husband Bill's death, while holidaying with friends. Her two daughters wept as a portrait of her life was read to the inquest describing how she lived for her family, doted on her grandchildren and cared for her elderly mother.

Carly Lovett, 24-year-old graduate (PA)

Carly Lovett, 24

The fashion blogger, from Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, was on her first couple's holiday with fiance Liam Moore. She ran into the hotel to escape gunfire but was killed after being shot and injured by a grenade explosion. In a statement Mr Moore told the inquest that as Miss Lovett lay dying “she told me she loved me and I told her I loved her too”.

Denis Thwaites, 70, and Elaine Thwaites, 69

The former Birmingham City footballer lived in Blackpool with his wife. Their son-in-law Daniel Clifford, who attended the inquest with his wife Lindsey, the couple's daughter, told the hearing: “Our family's lives have been torn apart due to an ideology that is both evil and twisted. They may have taken the best but they will never break the love we shared as a family.”

Philip Heathcote, 52

He who had been celebrating his 30th wedding anniversary with wife Allison, then 48, when he was shot dead as they lay relaxing on sunbeds. Mrs Heathcote, from Felixtowe in Suffolk, told the inquest that after being shot five times herself she “played dead” next to her dead or dying husband, who was originally from Manchester, to avoid being shot again.

Stephen Mellor, 59

The engineer, from Bodmin in Cornwall, was killed as he shielded his wife Cheryl on the beach. In a statement, Mrs Mellor, who suffered life-changing injuries in the attack, told the inquest: “I am only here today due to the bravery of my husband Stephen. He sacrificed himself. Stephen is a hero to me.”

Sue Davey, 43, and Scott Chalkley, 42

The mother-of-three, from Tamworth, Staffordshire, and her partner, an ex-Royal Fusilier and father-of-two from Derby, met while working for Severn Trent Water and died after being shot as they relaxed on sunloungers. Ms Davey's son Conor Fulford told the inquest she had been caring with a “do-good attitude”, adding: “Scott really did give mum a new lease of life. He was a really good guy and gave mum a lot of happiness. Knowing that she was with someone like that is really comforting.”

Claire Windass, 54

A mother-of-two from Hull in East Yorkshire. Her husband Jim told how he desperately tried to pull the Lincolnshire-born care worker to safety as they were attacked on his 65th birthday. Mr Windass, 66, who later dived into the sea to escape Rezgui, told the inquest: “I'm not medical but it was clear that something had happened (to Claire). There was no pulse. I closed her eyes.”

Jim and Ann McQuire, from Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire (PA)

Jim McQuire, 66, and Ann McQuire, 63

McQuire, a former shipyard engineer and trade union shop steward active in the Boys' Brigade, was on his first post-retirement holiday with his wife, a lab technician turned medical receptionist, when they were killed. Mr McQuire, from Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, died en route to hospital after his ambulance sat outside the hotel with him inside it for up to 20 minutes, the inquest heard. Their son Stuart told the hearing in a statement: “This was meant to be the first of many holidays, sadly this was not to be. They were taken from us before their time.”

Stuart Cullen, 52

His wife Christine, who was wounded, told the inquest how Rezgui shot the defenceless former prison officer as he lay badly injured from a grenade blast, while she screamed “No. No”. Mrs Cullen, from Lowestoft in Suffolk, told the hearing the shooter had taken away the love of her life and Mr Cullen's “biggest dream” of walking their daughter, Emma-Jayne, down the aisle.

Billy Graham and Lisa Graham

The couple, from Bankfoot near Perth in Scotland, were on a trip to the tourist resort of Sousse to celebrate Mrs Graham's 50th birthday and their 31st wedding anniversary. Mr Graham, 51, who served for 22 years in the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, and his wife tried to escape from the gunfire by leaving the hotel lobby through a doorway next to the reception area.

Lisa, 50, and her husband William Graham, 51, died in the attack (PA)

John Stocker, 74 and Janet Stocker, 63

The couple were sunbathing on the beach and eyewitness Anthony Miller said they “did not stand a chance” when Rezgui opened fire at holidaymakers. In a statement, their family said they were “a happy couple, both young at heart, and enjoyed all life could afford”, adding: “They died together doing what they enjoyed most - being side by side.”

Ray and Angie Fisher

The Leicester couple had been due to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary just months after the attack. Mr Fisher, 75, a retired former engineer and caretaker who loved wildlife and bred koi carp, and his wife, 69, a retired bank manager and hairdresser, were shot at close range as they sat on sunloungers. Their daughter, Donna Bradley, told the inquest that their first grandchild, a son nicknamed Little Fish, was born to their son, Adam, and his wife two days before the inquest began in January. She added: “It's so sad that Ray and Angie were not able to meet and cuddle Little Fish.”

The Irish victims were:

Laurence and Martina Hayes (PA)

Lorna Carty, a mother-of-two from Robinstown, Co Meath. Bishop of Meath Michael Smith said Mrs Carty was the victim of a “senseless killing”.

Husband and wife Laurence and Martina Hayes, both in their 50s, from Athlone in Co Westmeath. Mr Hayes was a schools transport inspector who had worked for Bus Eireann for the past 20 years.

Prior to the Sousse attack, British tourist Sally Adey, 57, from Shropshire, was among 22 people killed as Isis terrorists opened fire at the Bardo National Museum in the capital Tunis in March 2015.

Press Association

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in