Andrew Hanahoe: Tributes after tragic death of Hitchin Boys’ School teacher

PUBLISHED: 15:28 09 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:31 09 January 2018

Hitchin Boys' School, where Andrew Hanahoe taught science and was a sixth-form tutor. Picture: Alan Millard

Hitchin Boys' School, where Andrew Hanahoe taught science and was a sixth-form tutor. Picture: Alan Millard

Archant

Staff and students at Hitchin Boys’ School are mourning the loss of a popular teacher who tragically took his own life shortly after Christmas.

Andrew Hanahoe, who taught biology and served as a sixth-form tutor, died when he was struck by a train north of Biggleswade on December 29. He was 41 years old.

Staff at the school gathered the students together on their return from the Christmas holidays last week to tell them the sad news, with head Martin Brown also sending a letter to parents.

In it, Mr Brown said Mr Hanahoe left behind “four young children and a wife and family who cared deeply about him.

“Their lives will never be the same and we send them our most sincere sympathy and support.”

Mr Brown said the Hanahoe family “wanted all the boys to know what had happened in the hope that it may somehow help someone avoid a similar fate.”

“However,” he wrote, “at the same time we feel that the right response is to carry on as best we can and try to make the best we can out of our learning, both today and as we go into this term, if only as a mark of respect for the passing of a member of our community.”

He added that the school had counsellors available to give the boys guidance and support.

Mr Brown told the Comet: “Mr Hanahoe was a science teacher here for more than 16 years and was very well-respected throughout the school.

“Obviously the whole school community is very distressed, and he will be sadly missed – but our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”

Students have left numerous tributes to Mr Hanahoe on the Rate My Teachers website, describing him as “one of the best teachers ever” and “a great man with great knowledge and kindness”.

One student summed up Mr Hanahoe as: “An absolutely amazing teacher, form tutor and most importantly a nice guy. He will be missed at Hitchin Boys’, where he was part of a tight-knit community. He helped so many young people over the years, and many current students and past students will miss him dearly. Our thoughts are with his family through these hard times.”

Another wrote: “You will be missed more than you knew.”

Support charity Samaritans can be contacted free of charge on 116 123, 24 hours a day, 365 a year. You can also email jo@samaritans.org.

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