Nursery leads tribute to tragic Benjamin
JUST like any other little boy — happy, lively and a joy to have around.Those were the words used today to describe Felixstowe three-year-old Benjamin Davey, the youngster killed by a falling tree felled by gale-force winds.
JUST like any other little boy — happy, lively and a joy to have around.
Those were the words used today to describe Felixstowe three-year-old Benjamin Davey, the youngster killed by a falling tree felled by gale-force winds.
As the tribute was paid, flowers were placed on the edge of the woodland where the much-loved child died in the freak accident in Sunday's storm.
The community in Felixstowe is still coming to terms with the tragedy.
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The Grove – where little Benjamin was struck by the tree as he was wheeled in his pushchair by his mum – has been sealed off to the public "to allow for the clearance of fallen timber".
But council officials have still not released a statement promised yesterday and have not answered the question why the wood was not closed during the storm when so many other parks and open spaces across the county were shut.
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Benjamin, who lived with him mum and dad in Looe Road, Old Felixstowe, attended the Squirrell Nutkin's nursery and Montessori school in nearby High Road East.
Owner Debi Squirrell said the school had closed for the day yesterday as a mark of respect for Benjamin and would be closing early today.
The youngster, who was three in July, had been attending for two years and had just moved up to the Montessori school.
"He was very proud of himself now that he had moved into the school – he kept calling himself a big boy now," said Debi.
"He was a lovely little boy. He was happy and lively, great fun to have around, and everyone loved him.
"We have seen him grow and develop during the time he has been with us and he really seemed to love his time here. It is such a tragic loss, a terrible waste.
"Everyone here is deeply upset and our thoughts are with the family. I have spoken to his father and written to the family.
"All his dad could say was that they feel so numb and cannot really believe it has happened. I cannot imagine what they are going through."
The school is considering a memorial tribute to Benjamin but will discuss this with the family later. Staff have not told the children about the accident but are leaving parents to decide how to tell them.
A single bunch of carnations was placed outside the main entrance today at The Grove, bearing the message, "Benjamin, with love, Max will miss you, xxx."
The entrances to the 15-acre wood have been sealed off with red and white tape.
Benjamin and his mother were walking through the wood when a dead tree came crashing down across a path onto the pushchair.
She could do nothing to get out of the way because of the speed and suddenness with which the tree was felled by the winds, gusting up to 80mph.
But she is understood not to have panicked. She quickly unstrapped him from his pushchair and managed to free him from beneath the branches, injuring her hand as she did so.
She put him in their car and drove to Felixstowe General Hospital. A doctor and two nurses immediately attended Benjamin, who is understood to have suffered dreadful head injuries, but could not resuscitate him.