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Tuesday 24 April 2018

School in mourning after much-loved student dies on 18th birthday

Peter Clarke
Peter Clarke

David Dawson

A school is in mourning after one of its pupils died from cancer on his 18th birthday.

Schoolboy Peter Clarke, who was in Year 14 at Bangor Grammar, succumbed to a brain tumour on Wednesday.

In a moving tribute to the teenager, school Principal Elisabeth Huddleson spoke of Peters' "grace, determination and immeasurable bravery".

The principal praised the way in which Peter's teachers and his fellow pupils had offered the young man their support during his illness.

Ms Huddleson stated on the school's website: "Many of you will remember Peter Clarke being one of the pupils who received The David McMurray Cup for overcoming hardship last year given his battle with a brain tumour.

"Sadly Peter lost his battle with cancer on October 2. His year group, the current year 14, have been amazing - sending him messages of support, getting a flag made with all their sixth form photos on it and generally going the extra mile to offer support.

"In particular his closest friends, Head of Year (Fred Gilmour) and Form teacher (Sam Wolfenden) have faithfully visited over recent months when we realised that the disease had taken a sinister turn for the worst."

She said she had been inspired by the manner in which the young man dealt with the dreadful blow of fortune he had received.

"Spending time with Peter and his family has been a continual reminder of the importance of living life day to day.

"We can all learn and be inspired by how Peter dealt with his diagnosis - with grace, determination, immeasurable bravery and a tenacity of spirit that is remarkable in one so young.

"What is certain is the impact he has made on this community which will continue to inspire for many, many years to come," the principal said.

Other tributes were also paid to the teenager and messages of condolences sent to his grieving family circle.

On Peter's Facebook page, pal Glen Baxter wrote: "Rest easy mate, you'll be missed by so many."

News of Peter Clarke's death comes just a week after the north Down town was stunned to learn of the untimely death of Megan Ogle (15) from osteosarcoma.

The Glenlola Collegiate schoolgirl had battled the bone cancer for two years.

Earlier this year, the Bangor teen was crowned Fundraiser of the Year at the Heroes of Youth Awards for her inspirational efforts to help other cancer sufferers - all while herself undergoing treatment for the disease.

In a statement, Glenlola - where Peter's sister is a pupil - paid their own tribute, describing Peter as "a remarkable young man who fought his illness with dignity, bravery and courage throughout.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Clarke family and the Bangor Grammar School community at this very sad time," the school said.

Glenlola Collegiate school described Megan as "inspirational young lady" who will be very sadly missed.

Belfast Telegraph

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