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Editor’s comment: Freak accident which had a profound effect.

PUBLISHED: 08:00 16 June 2018

Mike Jones pictured with the grave he has crowd funded to clean up and repair.

Mike Jones pictured with the grave he has crowd funded to clean up and repair.

Archant

Most of us under the age of 60 will be shocked to read about the tragic death of young Richard White in 1967.

The Upminster schoolboy was just 10 when he died in a freak accident. It was a horror which clearly had a profound effect on children in the area.

Mike Jones was in the year below Richard at school and did not know him, but has remembered the incident ever since.

As has Richard’s pal Neil McEwan.

Richard was buried in St Laurence Church yard but with no family now living nearby his grave has become overgrown and the engraving unreadable.

When Mike discovered it he was determined that Richard should not be forgotten.

He has already raised £440 to repair and clear the grave. Now he is hoping to raise more for a plaque or bench to commemorate Richard.

Otherwise newcomers to the area and younger residents will never know Richard’s story.

Such an awful accident these days would result in an inquiry and health and safety investigation.

In 1967 health and safety regulations were probably not as strict.

Whether anyone was to blame or it really was just a freak of nature, Mike is showing a great example of community spirit by restoring the grave and ensuring Richard will not be forgotten.

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