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Heartbroken mum of cyclist Daniel Squire reads letter at unveiling of memorial bench in St Margarets

By Eleanor Perkins

A heartfelt letter was buried in the ground at the unveiling of a new memorial bench for Daniel Squire.

The solid oak seating place was installed by the National Trust on the White Cliffs of Dover in St Margarets yesterday.

It is one of only four in the area and is a tribute to the teenage cyclist who died in 2013 ahead of what would have been his 24th birthday on Monday.

His parents Tracy and Symon Squire, sister Hayley, niece Keira and newborn nephew Ezra, gathered at what they have called the "perfect location" for the memorial.

It has been scribed with a love heart and the letter D on one side.

Mrs Squire read a letter she had written to her son aloud before placing it in the ground along with other special items.

These included pictures of Daniel's parents on their wedding day, West Ham, Chelsea and Man United football figures he used to collect, a can of his favourite drink Cream Soda and an Xbox game.

Daniel Squire's family niece Keira, sister Hayley, nephew Ezra and parents Tracy and Symon Squire gather at the bench
Daniel Squire's family niece Keira, sister Hayley, nephew Ezra and parents Tracy and Symon Squire gather at the bench

She read: "To our darling son, brother, uncle and friend, there are just not enough words to say how we as a family feel today.

"We miss you so much, the loss can be just too much.

"You'll be 24 on May 13 and we should be doing all crazy things with you instead we will be standing by your graveside, crying, feeling pain, but also feeling blessed that you were with us for 18 wonderful years.

The solid oak wood bench has been scribed with a 'D'
The solid oak wood bench has been scribed with a 'D'

"Our lives will always be broken and filled with sadness.

"This bench is for us and anyone that just wants to sit, remember and reflect on what good times and memories we have.

"We can come here and think of you and remember how truly blessed we were to have you."

The letter also referred to his new nephew, Ezra, who was born on March 21, and whose middle name is Daniel.

Daniel Squire's family say the bench is in the "perfect location"
Daniel Squire's family say the bench is in the "perfect location"
Daniel Squire died in 2013 and would have been 24 on Monday
Daniel Squire died in 2013 and would have been 24 on Monday

Mr and Mrs Squire have paid for the bench themselves via a donation to the National Trust which goes towards the maintenance and upkeep of its sites.

Rangers who secured it in the chalky cliff explained it had been made by volunteers at Scotney Castle in Kent.

The cliffs in St Margarets were frequented by the young triathlete during his training for the Bolton Iron Man endurance contest.

Tracy Squire and granddaughter Keira place family photos in the ground
Tracy Squire and granddaughter Keira place family photos in the ground

Mr Squire said: "When Daniel was alive, we would frequently come up here running, from Ringwould, through this point here and back through to Kingsdown and he loved this area."

Mrs Squire said she would also visit the tranquil spot with its sweeping views of the Channel in the aftermath of her son's death.

Daniel, a former St Edmund's Catholic School pupil, was cycling from his home in Reach Close in St Margaret’s to his father’s house in Ringwould when he was struck by a van driven by Philip Sinden on September 7, 2013.

He was airlifted to a London Hospital where he died of his injuries the next day.

Tracy Squire with a Why Risk It? sticker highlighting the dangers of texting while driving
Tracy Squire with a Why Risk It? sticker highlighting the dangers of texting while driving

Mr Sinden was later acquitted of causing death by dangerous driving following an investigation that claimed he was texting at the wheel at the time of impact.

He had admitted typing messages earlier in the journey.

The Squire family have since turned their focus to campaigning against the use of mobiles behind the wheel and continue to highlight its dangers.

Daniel’s tragedy has also prompted frequent fundraising events in aid of Kent Air Ambulance.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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