Gala honours Stevenage scout leader 10 years after ravine tragedy

Tom Moore died when he fell 1,000ft down a ravine.

Tom Moore died when he fell 1,000ft down a ravine. - Credit: Archant

A swimming gala has been held in memory of Scout leader Tom Moore, 10 years after he fell 1,000ft down a ravine and died.

Vice chairman of Stevenage Swimming Club Steffan Ford, winner of the Tiger Trophy Jamie Haddleton, T

Vice chairman of Stevenage Swimming Club Steffan Ford, winner of the Tiger Trophy Jamie Haddleton, Tom Moore's mum Diane, and a representative from Starlight with members of Diane's family, Hertfordshire Scouts and Stevenage Swimming Club. Picture courtesy of John Sandon. - Credit: Archant

Tom, who lived in Stevenage’s Jessop Road, was on a two-week trip to Liechtenstein with Herts Scouts in August 2008 when on the final day he went for a walk alone in the foggy mountains.

The 21-year-old never returned and his body was later found at the bottom of a ravine. It is believed Tom had slipped and fallen to his death.

Tom’s mum, Diane, said: “The last text I had from him said ‘one more walk and then I will have done everything I wanted to do’. It was the sort of thing he absolutely loved to do. We knew right up until a minute or so before he died he was probably at his absolute happiest.”

Tom had been a member of Stevenage Swimming Club from a very young age, so the club changed the name of its annual novice gala to the Tom Moore Memorial Novice Gala.

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Tom’s family attend the event every year and award the Tom Moore Tiger Trophy to the swimmer they feel has shown the most endeavour, with Sunday’s recipient Jamie Haddleton.

Diane said: “Jamie’s performance at the gala caught our eye because he was achieving personal bests.”

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The gala raised about £800 for Starlight, a charity which grants wishes to seriously and terminally ill children.

Diane said: “We are still so appreciative there is this gala in Tom’s name. It’s lovely his name is remembered in the town.

“Tom was into everything. He was very keen about Scouts and he and a friend set up the Stevenage District Scout Network for older boys, which is now named after Tom. It was just starting up when he died.

“Tom was also into kick boxing and swimming - he was very sporty - and he was also very committed to protecting the environment, studying environmental science at the University of East Anglia and standing as an election candidate for the Green Party.”

About life now, Diane said: “You don’t recover from losing one of your children.

“We’ve climbed Snowdon and Scafell Pyke since Tom’s death, and we weren’t mountain climbers before. Tom would have said ‘don’t do less, do more’, because that’s who he was.

“We try to concentrate on celebrating how lucky we were to have had him for 21 years.”

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