‘Taken far too soon’: Victims of the Manchester attack

‘Taken far too soon’: Victims of the Manchester attack
As Manchester reacted to Monday night's devastating terrorist attack with solidarity and compassion, friends and family mourned the victims, paying homage to relatives whose lives were tragically cut short.
4 min read
Crowds gathered in Manchester's Albert Square in a show of solidarity [AFP]

As Manchester reacted to Monday night's devastating terrorist attack with solidarity and compassion, friends and family mourned the victims, paying homage to relatives whose lives were tragically cut short.

Saffie Roussos, 8, from the Lancashire town of Leyland, attended the concert with her mother and older sister, who were both being treated in hospital for their injuries. She was the youngest victim of the attack.

Chris Upton, head teacher at the Tarleton Community Primary School, described Saffie as "a beautiful little girl in every sense of the word".

"She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair," he said.

"The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heart-breaking."

Charlotte Campbell spent hours after the attack desperately searching for her 15-year-old daughter Olivia. It was later confirmed that she had died.

She had appealed to the media for any news of the teenager, who had been at the concert with her friend Adam, who was being treated in hospital.

Hours before the bomb, Charlotte spoke to her daughter, who said she was having an "amazing" time and thanked her for letting her go.

"RIP my darling precious gorgeous girl Olivia Campbell taken far far too soon," she wrote on Facebook, alongside a picture of Olivia.

"Go sing with the angels and keep smiling mummy loves you so much."

Georgine Callander, 18, was also confirmed as a victim of the attack. She had been studying health and social care at the Runshaw College Sixth Form Centre in Lancashire, northwest England.

Her former school, Bishop Rawstorne Church of England Academy, brought together students to pray for her and remember her life.

"Georgina was a lovely young student who was very popular with her peers and the staff and always made the most of the opportunities she had at the school," it said.

Parents waiting for their children

Friends Alison Howe, 45, and Lisa Lees, 47, from Oldham near Manchester, were killed together while waiting to pick up their daughters, the Daily Mirror reported.

The girls, both aged 15, are believed to have survived.

Alison's stepson Jordan Howe confirmed her death on Facebook: "They took a caring beautiful mum and step mother away from us all she was amazing to us all x love you loads Alison Howe xx."

A Polish couple living in Britain were also killed in the explosion as they waited to collect their daughters, the Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said.

"The parents went to pick up their daughters after the concert and unfortunately this morning we received news that they did not survive the explosion," he told the commercial RMF Radio station

They were identified as Angelika and Marcin Klis. Their daughters were unhurt in the bombing.

'One in a million'

John Atkinson from Bury in Lancashire was also named by friends as one of those killed in the attack. The 26-year-old's Facebook account was "memorialised" by friends, with loved ones paying tribute.

John was "one in a million and loved by so many," wrote Hayley Turk, who organised an online fund for his family.

"A true gentleman," she added.

Others paid tribute on Facebook to lost partners. Kelly Brewster, from Sheffield, east of Manchester, was confirmed as one of the victims by her boyfriend Ian Winslow.

"Kelly really was the happiest she has ever been and we had so many things planned together. My daughter Phoebe will be absolutely devastated like we all are," he said, according to media reports.

Some of those reports indicated Brewster died shielding her 11-year-old niece from the blast.

Manchester reacted to Monday night's terrorist attack with incredible displays of humanity, with stories of strangers practicing random acts of kindness showing up all over the internet.

Numerous local restaurants offered free food and beverages for members of the emergency services, many of whom worked through the night without rest.

Local blood-banks have reported having to turn people away after hundreds of people queued to give blood, while a crowdfunding project by the Manchester Evening News for the families of the victims hit its £50,000 target within hours and had passed £210,000 by 2pm (GMT).

Thousands of people converged on Manchester's city centre on Tuesday evening waving "I heart Manchester" placards in solidarity with the victims of a bomb attack.