Belfast Telegraph

Home News

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17: Faces of the innocent

Some of the victims on board flight MH17 when it was hit by a missile.

An entire Dutch family of four were killed in the crash. The Smallenburg family – Charles, his wife Therese, their daughter Carlijn and son Werther – were going on a holiday of a lifetime to east Asia. Father Charles was said to be an enthusiastic volunteer in his local area – and son Werther was a talented footballer. A statement on his soccer club's website said: "We wish all the relatives very much strength to cope with this terrible loss. We remember the family Smallenburg, each in their own way."

Tributes have been paid to Richard Mayne, who is believed to have been on board the tragic flight. Mr Mayne (20), from Leicester, was studying maths and finance at Leeds University and had recently returned from a charity fundraising trip to Mount Everest in March. His former school in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, described him as an "extremely pleasant and thoughtful young man" who had a "great thirst for life". John Wood, headmaster at The Dixie Grammar School, said: "Richard gave his time generously for everyone."

Ben Pocock, a second year international business degree student at Loughborough University, had been heading to Australia when the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed. The university paid tribute to Mr Pocock, from Bristol, saying he was destined to achieve a first class honours degree. "We are saddened to hear that one of our students, Ben Pocock, was believed to be a passenger on flight MH17," a spokeswoman said. "Ben had just completed the second year of his international business BSc degree and was flying out to begin a professional placement and to study abroad at the University of Western Australia as part of his third year. Ben was an excellent student and on course to gain a first class degree."

Glenn Thomas from Blackpool was a 49-year-old media officer at the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva. His twin sister said she had not slept since receiving the news of her brother's death and she was "crying in limbo". Writing on Facebook, Tracey Withers wrote: "Not slept all nite... crying in limbo here... wat happens nxt?"

WHO spokesman Gregory Hart added: "Glenn will be remembered for his ready laugh and his passion for public health."

Sister Philomena Tiernan was on the flight as she travelled home from a retreat in Paris. According to a longstanding friend, Father Tony Doherty, she had spent a week in France at a retreat before making her way to Amsterdam for the flight to Malaysia. Speaking on RTE News at One, Father Doherty said that everyone "who knew her was devastated by the news".

He said: "She was a very beloved member of the Sydney community. She was Australian born and bred but with a name like Tiernan, she had deep roots in Ireland. We are going to have a mass for her tomorrow.

"I knew Phil for 30 years. She was such a gentle woman. Her personality made her a very beloved teacher for thousands of young women over 30 years."

Mo (12), Evie (10) and Otis Maslin (8) were on their way back to Perth with their grandfather Nick Norris in time for school after a family holiday in Amsterdam. The children's parents were staying on in Amsterdam for a few more days after touring Europe.

The doting grandfather joked about flying Malaysia Airlines before he boarded the doomed plane.

Nick Norris (67) referenced flight MH370 which went missing in March before he flew on MH17, his daughter Natalia Gemmell revealed as she paid tribute to her father yesterday. "I spoke to him just before he caught the plane to find out when he was leaving and told him I loved him and told him I'd see him when he got back," she told PerthNow.

Mr Norris was a man with a passion for family and died with his grandchildren doing what he loved best – a good turn for his kids, his friend told Daily Mail Australia.

John Alder, in his 60s, was a life-long Newcastle United supporter who was travelling to see the club play on a pre-season tour of New Zealand. Barely missing a match in 50 years, the Gateshead man was known as the Undertaker "because he always wore a black suit and white shirt to every match", his neighbour said. Margaret Bambra (66) added: "He was a lovely guy, never bothering anyone. He was Newcastle-mad. I really cannot believe it – it's totally devastating. He did not deserve this."

Liam Sweeney was also travelling to see Newcastle United's pre-season tour and would have been known to many fans during his time volunteering as a steward on supporters' buses to away games, the club said. Andrew Phillips (21) was a friend of Mr Sweeney (28) and said: "He was a spot-on kid, no bother at all, it's such a sad day.

"I'm sure he'll be looking down on us and will be proud that he has a memorial on Sir Bobby Robson's statue."

Cameron Dalziel (43) is understood to be South African but travelling on a British passport. The helicopter rescue pilot had moved to Malaysia last October with his wife Reine and their two sons Sheldon (14) and four year-old Cruz, to take up a job with CHC Helicopter. It is understood Mr Dalziel had been sent for training in the Netherlands and was returning home on the Malaysia Airlines flight.

Mr Dalziel's brother-in-law, Shane Hattingh, told Eye Witness News: "It's crazy, the kids are going to be absolutely shattered."

Elaine Teoh was 27 and from Penang, in Malaysia, but lived in Melbourne, Australia, where she was a student, according to her Facebook page. Dutch national Emiel Mahler, Elaine's boyfriend, was also a victim who lived in Melbourne.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph