Memory of three children lives on

Fitzwilliam primary school have a memorial bench with a plaque and a weeping silver birch tree to remember William, Anthony (who went to the school) and Maddison who were killed in a house fire in Bridlington.Pictured are some of year 5 who were classmates of William, Headteacher Susan Harrison and Father John Hadjioannou
Fitzwilliam primary school have a memorial bench with a plaque and a weeping silver birch tree to remember William, Anthony (who went to the school) and Maddison who were killed in a house fire in Bridlington.Pictured are some of year 5 who were classmates of William, Headteacher Susan Harrison and Father John Hadjioannou

GRIEF-STRICKEn pupils have planted a tree in memory of three youngsters who were killed in a house fire last year.

Children from Fitzwilliam Primary School also dedicated a bench in honour of William Beal, nine, Anthony John ‘AJ’ Fothergill, five, and their three-year-old sister, Maddie, who died of smoke inhalation after a blaze at their home in Bridlington on November 11.

The two eldest children had attended the school before moving to the seaside town.

The pupils gathered together on Friday to take part in a memorial service, when Father John Hadjioannou, from the Church of the Resurrection, Wakefield Road, Kinsley, blessed the bench and said prayers to remember the youngsters.

The wooden seat with a commemorative plaque was paid for through funds raised by Fitzwilliam Youth Club and the weeping silver birch tree was donated by the school’s gardener Rob Oldroyd.

Headteacher Susan Harrison said: “The children were devastated when it happened and it was very difficult for them, so this was a way to show they are never going to be forgotten.”

She said William was such a lively character and a really happy boy who always had a smile on his face.

She said: “He loved being outside so we thought a bench and tree were the best way for them to be remembered.”

The family had moved to Bridlington from Fitzwilliam - where the children’s mother, Samantha Hudson, had grown up - around a year before their deaths.

Anthony was in nursery and William was in year four when they left.

Ms Hudson was left with brain damage as a result of being starved of oxygen during the fire, which was most likely started by a discarded cigarette.

She spent months in hospital and was too ill to attend her children’s funerals.

At the youngsters’ inquest at Hull Coroner’s Court a verdict of accidental death was recorded by coroner Geoffrey Saul.