Network Rail apologises after floral tributes to tragic Jack Gatcliffe removed at Romford Station
12:00 05 September 2014
Archant, used with permission from family
Network Rail has apologised for removing floral tributes to Jack Gatcliffe at Romford Station just three days after he was killed by a train.
Family and friends of “big-hearted” Jack, 24, have called the decision “completely disrespectful”.
A spokesman for Network Rail said: “We always try and handle these situations as sensitively as we can, but on this occasion the floral tributes were moved before the family was told.
“We are very sorry for the distress this has caused.”
Jack’s sister, mum-of-three Kirstie Cartwright, said: “It is completely disrespectful. My whole family hasn’t even gone to see the flowers yet.
“We have got so much to think about right now and this is the last thing we want to be concentrating on.”
The tributes made to Chelsea fan Jack, of Heath Park, Dagenham, were removed by an Abellio Greater Anglia official as part of a joint decision with themselves and Network Rail.
The decision to remove the tributes was made as part of guidelines set out by the Samaritans.
Kirstie said he was a “great friend” to many people, adding: “He was friendly and bubbly and had such a big heart. He would always joke around and play pranks.”
Mum Lou, 54, said Jack was a “perfect” son. “Words can’t say how I feel right now,” she said. “My precious son has gone too soon.”
Directing her words to her late son, she added: “I will love and miss you always. Shine bright as a star for me to see – you were a star on this earth.”
Concerns were raised on social media after Jack, an account manager in a recruitment firm, went missing over the weekend while in Dagenham.
Tributes poured in following news of his death, with hundreds joining a Facebook group dedicated to his memory.
BTP said they are not treating his death as suspicious. An inquest will be carried out in due course.