Tributes after death of popular Barnstaple teenager

Joseph Bulmer

Friends stunned after loss of “life and soul of the party” teenager

TRIBUTES have been pouring in following the sudden death of popular former Park School pupil Charlie Hedge.

The Park sign at the entrance to the school is a sea of flowers and messages yesterday (Wednesday,) left by a flood of mourners after it emerged the 18-year-old’s body was found at a house in Portland Street on Monday afternoon.

Police said his death was unexplained at this time was but not being treated as suspicious.

An inundation of tributes appeared on the Charlie’s Facebook page as the sad news filtered through yesterday, as well as on a specially set up tribute page entitled “RIP Charlie Hedge,” most saying how happy and outgoing he had been.

The page information simply reads “A legend who will always live on and will never be forgotten! Touching so many hearts! You will be very sadly missed Charlie! Gone far too soon!”

Via the social networking site friends and well wishers arranged to meet outside Park School at 12 noon today to place flowers, messages and pay their respects.

A school friend who had gone to visit the memorial told the Gazette: “He made everybody laugh, he was the life and soul of the party.

“He would do anything for anybody and he was really good at sports, he loved his football. He was well loved by everybody and he had a lot of mates.”

Charlie was well known for donning fancy dress outfits for a night on the town in Barnstaple and a number of the tributes both online and at the school show him having a good time with friends on a night out.

On Facebook today, Libby Everest wrote: “You taught us all to be happy, I wish we could have truly done the same to keep you here. Wherever you are I trust you are smiling xxxxxxxxxx love you so much.”

Karen Freeman, a mother of one of his friends, added: “You clearly were well liked and will be missed and I hope you’ve found peace. I feel so upset by this, as will all other parents reading this page, my sincere wishes go to all your family and friends. God speed.”

Phoebe Reed wrote: “Can’t believe I saw you Sunday and now I won’t ever again, it still hasn’t quite clicked yet... Miss you so much already you complete animal, you were a massive part of everyone’s life, you don’t realise how much people mean until they’re not there any more, and believe me, you meant, and will continue to mean a hell of a lot to everyone!”

A total of 854 people have already indicated their like the Facebook tribute page and the number of messages have been growing rapidly by the hour as the news filtered through the town.

Police were called to the scene at Portland Street by South Western Ambulance Service. A police spokesman said they were investigating and a report would be submitted to the coroner.

* YOU can also leave your own tribute to Charlie Hedge on this page.