Great Cornard family honours teenage daughter’s legacy in new book
A man, whose daughter died after being hit by a train 12 years ago, has published a book in her memory of photographs taken from around the world.
Charlotte Thompson, 13, and Olivia Bazlinton, 14, died in 2005, when the pair were hit by a high-speed train on a level crossing in Essex. They had been going Christmas shopping.
Charlie’s father, Reg, from Davidson Close, in Great Cornard, has published a book of more than 100 photographs, featuring Charlie’s name on placards and etched into exotic landscapes at various locations around the world.
The creative concept was inspired by the family’s neighbour and a website was set up in memory of Charlie, which received an overwhelming response from people all over the world.
“They said it had given them hope,” said Mr Thompson, who described the book as a fitting tribute to Charlie.
The teenager had not visited many countries, but planned on travelling when she was older, he said.
“She loved the idea of travelling,” said Mr Thompson. “She always spoke about the places she would like to go to and had a lovely imagination.”
The photographs feature countries as far as Antarctica, Siberia and Mount Kilamanjaro, in Tanzania.
One photograph captures Charlie’s name written on a balloon, tied to a tree, over a large gorge over the Yangtze River in China.
Each page in the book includes a map to indicate where the photograph was taken.
Mr Thompson believes the project has helped bring people together through compassion.
“It shows that people don’t have to know each other to care for one another,” he said, adding that he hoped the book would continue his daughter’s legacy.
“It’s obviously desperately sad but, for other people, it keeps the candle burning.”
The cost of publishing the book was raised through crowdfunding.
All proceeds will be donated to Child Bereavement UK, a charity close to the hearts of Mr Thompson, his wife Hilary, and sons Robbie and Harry.
Mr Thompson described the book as “celebrating life”.
“It’s not going to make people cry,” he said. “It’s going to make them smile.”
Write Charlie an Incredible Journey in Pictures is available from bookshops in and around Sudbury, for £9.99, as well as online.