Ipswich: Mum pays tribute to “musical and creative” Peter Ralph

THE family of a man whose body was found in the River Orwell today thanked his army of friends for their support following his death.

The body of Peter Ralph, 26, was discovered in the water close to Stoke Bridge on Monday.

Today, his mum, Rona Ralph, who lives in Yorkshire, paid tribute to her “musical and creative boy” who “could turn his hand to anything”.

The former Dale Hall Primary and Northgate High School student had been living in Cavendish Lodge in Turret Lane and was seeking help and support for a drug addiction.

“He was a very academic boy when he was at school,” she said.

“He was great at everything. He was a very musical and creative boy and he could turn his hand to anything that was given to him. Drums were really his thing, he loved the drums.

“He was very sociable and would speak to anyone, he wasn’t shy in the slightest.

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“On Monday we went down to the skate park [in Ipswich] and we were overwhelmed by the amount of people that were there. He was a great BMX rider and he even built bikes.”

Mrs Ralph said her son had struggled with his drug addiction but was beginning to overcome his demons.

“He had recently renewed his Christian faith and he was due to find out whether funding had been allocated for rehab,” she said.

“Two or three years ago I was expecting to get a knock on the door with bad news because he was so heavily into drugs.

“But he was getting better and he was looking to get help. It has come as a shock to us all.”

David Ralph, Peter’s brother, said the family had been overwhelmed by the support they had received.

After attending a service at the skate park, he said: “There were over 100 people at the Skate Park down by the river, letting off sky lanterns, fireworks and laying flowers.

“It (the service) got pulled together with just a few hours’ notice. I took my parents down there and they were speechless and overwhelmed by the amount of support from everyone.

“Everyone sang Wonderwall by Oasis – a tune which Pete was very popular with playing in the town – as we let off sky lanterns.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said a post mortem was due to take place in London in the next few days.

- We would like to apologise for an error in the headline of today’s Ipswich Star. We are sorry for any distress caused.