Fundraiser set up to repair grave of Upminster 10-year-old who was crushed to death in the 1960s
PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 June 2018
A Romford historian is trying to raise money to restore the grave of his classmate who was tragically killed when a sports pavilion was flipped over in heavy winds and crushed him.
Mike Jones, 60, was nine-year-old at the time, but still remembers the day when Upminster Junior School pupil Richard White was killed, and now 50 years later he is trying to raise £400 to repair his grave that has been damaged over the years.
In February 1967, Richard White, 10, of Waldegrave Gardens in Upminster, was taking part in a game of football on the school field, when a storm moved in and the teacher told the boys to run for shelter.
School football team captain, and fastest boy at the school, Richard got to the pavilion first, when a strong gust of wind hit the building turning it on its back and crushing him, and he sadly died of his injuries.
At the time The Recorder reported that following an inquest into his death it was deemed an accidental death.
Mike told the Recorder: “I never knew Richard although we probably passed each other many times.
“I was a year below Richard and remember distinctly the ambulance coming into the school.
“I have started this project because I have often thought of this incident and I think its tragedy that his story has been forgotten and his grave is in disrepair.
“His mother died the following year of grief and his father has now passed as well. His sister Jackie lives far away and is unable to tend the grave.
“I need £400 to repair the grave.
“If I raise more then perhaps we could put some sort of permanent memorial at the school.
“I’m certain that a lot of people who went to school with Richard still live in the area, and I was hoping that if anyone was there or remembers this incident and wants to help, then please get in touch.”
Mike is also hoping to invite Richard’s sister Jackie to see her brothers grave once the work is finished.
So far Mike has raised £325 of his £400 target.
To donate to the fund go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mike-jones-778