Gordon finally puts son to rest after plane death
Published on: 28 Feb 2016
A GRIEVING father says he finally feels he has been able to put his son to rest more than eight years after his death.
Gordon Clapp’s son Jamie was just 13 years old when he died in 2007 after a light aircraft he was travelling in crashed into a field and burst into flames.
Mr Clapp, who lives in Mangotsfield, feared he would never be able to afford the cost of a headstone, a move he said would allow him to finally put Jamie to rest.
But thanks to the fundraising efforts of Jamie’s friends, a black granite headstone has now been put in place at Mangotsfield Cemetery.
Despite his devastation following the death of his son, Mr Clapp threw all his might into fundraising £100,000 for a skateboard park in memory of Jamie.
Jamie, who was a pupil at Mangotsfield School, had been an avid skateboarder and Mr Clapp felt revamping the skateboard park in Emersons Green, a park where Jamie loved to go, would be a fitting tribute.
His dream was finally realised in April 2011 when the new-look site was declared open complete with memorial garden, bench and a print of Jamie’s shoes.
More recently, a fundraising day at the skateboard park organised by Jamie’s pals raised more than £200. The money was given to Mr Clapp to put towards the cost of a headstone.
“I would just like to mark the final chapter in laying my son to rest by thanking all his mates from Mangotsfield School and Emersons Green skateboard park,” said Mr Clapp.
“Firstly for helping raise £100,000 to re-build the skateboard park and more recently for raising £208 towards Jamie’s headstone.
“Jamie’s mother Alison and I paid the remaining amount and the headstone has now been put in place.
“I am so very proud of my son Jamie and his friends Harrey Kees Veldcamp, Ollie JN and all of those who helped and still hold Jamie’s memory so dear.
“I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”
The pilot, 34-year-old Robert Gunter, from Downend, was also killed in the accident on July 8, 2007.
An inquest into Jamie’s death heard that Mr Gunter, who was a friend of the family, had taken the drug ecstasy before the flight.
Mr Clapp was then told the insurance company would not pay out because Mr Gunter was under the influence of drugs and this had invalidated any claim.