Lasting tribute to fire hero

Carole Hardy with Martin Gouding, Reece Smith's dad, and students Greg Anderton and Tom Benstead
Carole Hardy with Martin Gouding, Reece Smith's dad, and students Greg Anderton and Tom Benstead
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A LASTING tribute has been made to a heroic Lytham schoolboy as a memorial garden was unveiled in his school.

Reece Smith, who was 19, died trying to rescue his younger brother and sisters from a fire at their family home in January.

And on the day he was supposed to leave Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College for the last time, he was one of the students’ remembered in a special ceremony.

His former classmates at the Worsley Road site designed the special garden as a lasting tribute to friends they have lost over the years.

There were poignant scenes as bereaved parents joined students at a ribbon cutting ceremony where they remembered those who have died.

Year 12 student Greg Anderton, used his horticultural skills to design and bring the memorial to life.

He said: “I wanted to use my gardening expertise to give families and students a place where they can remember their lost relatives and friends from the school community.

“I’m really pleased to see so many people here as it is opened.”

Greg sourced sponsors to help fund the project and spent many hours designing and getting the materials necessary to build it.

Most of the plants were also grown from seed by him.

Michelle Smith, Reece’s mother said “I’d like to thank the school for the support they’ve given to me, my family and Kylie and Bethany who are still students here.

“Reece would have been really proud to be part of this lovely memorial today.”

Tributes were also paid to Alex Hardy, 18 who died suddenly last November after suffering from a short illness. His mother Carole Hardy said: “There are truly wonderful people at this school who have supported us and have now made this beautiful tribute to students who have not lived to see this day.”

Alison Roylance head of sixth form said: “It was very moving to see all our Year 13s coming together with parents to remember students who could not be here today.

“Greg has created a lasting memorial which will keep their memory alive for future generations of pupils.”