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Hundreds expected at avalanche victim service

Toby Cox
Toby Cox

Up to 800 family and friends are expected to attend a service celebrating the life of a high-flying lawyer who died in a Swiss avalanche.

The event at Petham Church next month is being organised by Elizabeth and James Cox for their son, Toby.

The 33-year-old was killed while training for one of the word’s toughest mountain endurance challenges.

The couple, who live at Lower Hardres, near Canterbury, say they have been overwhelmed by the hundreds of messages of sympathy from around the world for Toby who was working in Paris at the time of his death but due to return to a new job in London.

But they hope that a charitable fund he started and planned to raise money for by doing the gruelling 55km Patrouille des Glaciers will continue to attract donations.

Toby went to school at Welsley House in Broadstairs before joining Harrow and then Durham University where he graduated in languages.

He was known locally for his love of cricket and played for both the Shepway Stragglers and The Band of Brothers.

But he was also an accomplished skier, mountaineer and all-round sportsman who also ran marathons.

Toby Cox
Toby Cox

The family held a private family funeral at Barham Crematorium last week but want to be able to celebrate his life with his wider circle of friends.

Mrs Cox said: “We have received at least 400 letters and cards from well-wishers and they keep coming in.

"But Toby was a very gregarious character who made many friends and lived life to the full.

“We knew what he enjoyed doing had risks but he enjoyed pushing himself to the limit, though he was always very meticulous about his preparations.

"It was just one of those unfortunate things - nature is a very powerful force.

“The messages of kindness and sympathy we and his brother, Andrew have received have really helped us get through what has been a very difficult time.”

Toby had been on the mountain with close friend, Will Bax, 31, a former pupil of the King’s School in Canterbury whose parents live at Shadoxhurst when the tragedy happened last month.

His team mates, who would have joined him in the endurance challenge, left a heartfelt tribute on his fund-raising website page describing him as "extremely kind and generous and probably the funniest person we had ever met".

Mrs Cox say donations have continued to flood in to the website www.justgiving.com/toby-cox76 and had now reached £10,000.

She said: “Toby was raising money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer because several of his friend’s mothers had died from the disease.

"We want to keep the site open for some time yet so we can make the biggest possible donation to the charity in his memory.”

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