It is believed that 30 Britons were killed in the Tunisia beach massacre
Among them were grandparents, football fans and a beauty blogger
As many as 30 of those killed in the terror attack in Sousse, Tunisia, are believed to have been British, according to Tunisia’s Foreign Ministry. Many were pensioners, enjoying what were supposed to be the golden days of their retirement.
Bruce Wilkinson, 72, had liked Tunisia so much that he came back again for another beach holiday in Sousse. In a statement, his family said he was a “kind and compassionate man with a dry sense of humour… a devoted husband, father and grandfather.”
Lisa Burbidge, in her 60s, left behind four grandchildren. One of them posted this tribute on Facebook: “My angel, my best friend. Love you always grandma, rest in peace.”
There also were married couples and longtime partners. Jim and Ann McQuire had just retired and were taking a break from serving at their church in Scotland. They were gunned down on the beach.
Stephen and Cheryl Mellor were doing a crossword puzzle together on their sun loungers when the attacker struck. They sheltered together and told each other “I love you” before the gunman turned on them. Cheryl survived with gunshots to her arm and leg. Stephen, who tried to block the bullets, did not.
Others were with friends, enjoying a hard-earned break. Trudy Jones, 51, was a care-home worker on holiday. Her children said in a statement: “She was the rock of our family and kept us all going.”
Some were young – Carly Lovett was just 24 years old. A beauty blogger who tweeted about her holiday manicure and packing for Tunisia, she was separated from her fiance Liam Moore in the attack. He survived but she was killed.
The assault stole the lives of three generations of one family. Adrian Evans, 44, was there with his father, 78-year-old Patrick, and nephew, Joel Richards, age 19. All three were fans of the Walsall Football Club. Fellow fans laid their scarves down outside the stadium in mourning.
For other families, there was the agony of waiting for news of the worst kind. For four days after the attack, the Stocker family tried desperately to reach John and Janet Stocker, on holiday. Hotel staff said the couple’s clothes were still hanging in their rooms but by Tuesday, Tunisian authorities confirmed they both had been killed.
RAF flights began repatriating the bodies of those who perished. The first arrived at Brize Norton air base Wednesday afternoon and were met by their families.
There are still several victims that have not been identified. Tunisian authorities have said they are working as quickly as possible to name all who lost their lives.