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Tributes paid to two Brits who lost their lives in Thailand

The funeral of Bob Leedham who was killed earlier this month in Koh Samui took place yesterday in West Yorkshire. Bob ran Something Sweet in Hebden Bridge with his wife Gemma who was also hurt in the accident. The funeral took place in Halifax, his cortege drove through the streets of Hebden Bridge before hand to allow fellow shopkeepers and friends to pay their respects. Mr Leedham was an avid Liverpool supporter, the reason that everybody was asked to wear something red.

The family of Duncan Whittaker, from Great Harwood, have paid tribute to the 22 year old student who was killed during a three week vacation in Thailand. Duncan was heading back to his hotel on a hired motorcycle when he was involved in an accident with another bike, whose rider also died.

deaths in ThailandAfter his death his family were faced with a £4,000 bill to take him home, but thanks to their local community and friends and family the money was raised and his body was flown home on Tuesday night.

Friends and family gathered at the Cross Axes pub for a fundraiser and Duncan’s devastated mum Sheila thanked everyone for pulling together. Sheila said: “People have been brilliant, complete strangers as well as his friends and employers and people at his university have got involved and it’s made it easier.

“We didn’t know what to do or where to start to get him back on British soil. We didn’t know if we’d see him again. It was horrific.”

Duncan, who died on February 4, was a former Great Harwood Primary and Norden High School pupil and was studying sustainable construction at Blackburn College. Sheila said her son was an ‘adrenaline junkie’ with a keen interest in cycling who was close to his family.

She added: “He was always out timing himself on his bicycle, canoeing – you name it. He’d been to Kenya and Florida as well. He wasn’t going to tell me he was going to Thailand until the day he left because he thought it would be funny – that’s what he was like. He made friends everywhere he went.”

Duncan leaves mum Sheila, dad Michael, siblings Sophie, Natalie and Luke, half-brother Paul, nieces and nephews Evie, Dylan, Deacon, Layla and Rhys and his beloved dog Mr Ben.

His funeral will be held on Wednesday, February 26 with a service at St Wulstan’s RC Church at 12.30pm followed by burial at Great Harwood Cemetery at 1.30pm and then food at the Victoria Hotel, Butcher Brig. The family has asked mourners not to wear dark colours to the funeral.

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