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24 September 2014

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You are in: Berkshire > Features > People > Tributes to Indira Swann

Indira Swann (top left) & the other Britons killed

The five Britons killed, Indira top left

Tributes to Indira Swann

Indira Swann from Maidenhead was killed in a coach crash in Ecuador on Saturday 12 April 2008. Here her parents and the principal of her school pay tribute to the 18-year-old, who once wrote that "you had to live every day with enjoyment".

Indira Swann was on a GAP year project in Ecuador when she was killed with four other Britons in a coach crash on Saturday 12 April 2008.

The 18-year-old Henley College student lived in Maidenhead with her family, and was due to start her undergraduate degree at King's College in London in September.

Indira's parents Greg and Louise Swann, and Henley College principal Tom Espley here pay tribute to her.

Send in your tributes to Indira via the Have Your Say box below. Please note all messages are moderated before being published.

Parents Greg and Louise Swann:

"She brought 18 years of joy, she was humorous, intelligent...she filled the room with warmth and happiness when she walked in. Everybody loved her.

Louise and Greg Swann

Louise and Greg Swann

"There are so many wonderful stories that we could tell about Indira. She was so generous and caring. She was a joy to be around. She was independent, she did the travelling with our full blessing with the knowledge of the risks.

"We have no regrets about her going other than the final income.

"For obvious reasons we couldn't sleep this morning, at 4am we got up and came downstairs.

"Louise is not the most IT-literate person in the world and she doesn't like doing emails.

"Last week she forced herself to write a nice email to Indira. We just happened to decide to check Louise's emails and there was a beautiful email from Indira:

"'Thanks to you and dad for being so great and for both giving me the opportunity and confidence to do this, but also for giving me such a lovely home, that nothing could stop me wanting to come home. Hope you are looking forward to having your bi-lingual, wholly-tanned hippified (ethnic trousers galore) and cultured daughter back. Love you.'"

"She was doing what she wanted to do.

"She'd been planning the trip for six months and worked very hard and had gone without things that she wanted to pay for it."

"Indira said once in an essay that we didn't know how long we'd got here, and so you had to live every day with enjoyment and do the best you could. And she did that."

Tom Espley (C) Henley College

Tom Espley (C) Henley College

Henley College principal Tom Espley:

"Indira was one of the best students academically last year. She took her A Levels in June 2007 and got some of the best results of all the 600 or so students who took A Levels that year.

"I've had many emails today from those who taught her who said, not only how sad they are, but also that she had such a great future ahead of her.

"She was very much respected by staff and students alike and her loss is very sad indeed.

"She was taking a Gap year before going up to King's College in London this coming Autumn.

"My memories of her were of a very bright, very capable and very ambitious student with a love for learning and a love for life and was really looknig forward to this GAP year and in particular taking part in this project in Equador."

Find out more from BBC News Online:

last updated: 15/04/2008 at 11:32
created: 14/04/2008

Have Your Say

Send in your tributes to Indira Swann from Maidenhead:

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Dhanoa family
Still remembering a very special young lady. Our thoughts are with you today.

I worked with Indira just before she left for Equador. She was my ray of light at the start of the day, always interested in everying around her. I planted a tree at my new job today, memories flooding back of planting Indira's memorial tree. Happy memories of Indira.

Ambreen Tariq
I was an old school friend of Dira's and was in the same class. In the time that i knew her, i found Dira to be the most sweetest, most intelligent, beautiful, caring, thoughtful person...Fact is i could go on all day. She was the kind of person who could bring a smile to your face in an instant. She was always willing to help anyone. She had such a positive attitude towards life and i remember her saying once..."we don't know how long we are here for...So we have to make themost of it!" I just want to pay my respects to the most amazing person i have ever known. And to her parents i wold just like to say i can't even egin to understand or imagine what your going through but i will say what an amazing job you did in raising Dira. You raised her to be truly one in a million...May te love and support of all those around you help you get through this terrible ordeal and i hope that in time you can replace the grief you are feeling now with the happy memeories that you have of Dira.She will never be forgotten and will be remembered forever in the hearts and prayers of all those who knew her.

I personally did not get to meet Indira. Her mother used to teach at Ellington but she seemed the type of daughter any want would want. My deepest sympathies are with mr and mrs swan. RIP Indira xx

Rishika Seth
I was an old school friend of Indira’s we didn’t know each other that well but what I do know Indira was a beautiful, intelligent girl with a beautiful smile…she would never speak badly of anyone. She had such a positive attitude in life which is one thing we could all learn from. I just want to say to Mr and Mrs Swann I cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through but all I can say is you did an amazing job raising Indira and are very lucky to of had such an amazing daughter in your lives she was truly an angel. May the love of those around you help you through the days ahead. Her beauty, kindness and purity are everlasting she may have gone young but she will never grow old in our thoughts. She will never be forgotten my prayers n thoughts are always with you. I am also sorry to all of Indira’s close family and friends…each day goes by…we are one step closer to meeting again. Rest in Peace xxx

I didnt no Indira , But i would like to tell you that she sounded like the type of person who loved everythng and imbraced every oppertunity life threw at her , She will always be remembered , Now shes looking over us all smiling and remembering the happytimes she shaired with everyone . Greg and Louise Stay strong , Like her . Im so sorry for your loss xxxx

Indira was a family friend and she was what everyone has already said and more i dont what it will be like with out her and i love you to bits and i will always. not a day goes by when i don't think about you and it never will. my prayers and thoughts are with Auntie Louise, Uncle Greg, Elizibeth and Harry Ilu Dira! xxxx

Kara Brown
I truly am sorry about your loss, Greg, Louise and Elizabeth.I remember when we would come to stay at your house and Indira, Elizabeth, Richard and myself would all go off playing random games. One particular memory that stands out is when you once had an Easter party and me and Indira went to bed earlier [obv] and she told me a bedtime story- except it wasnt your average bedtime story.. she told me about the Easter bunny and how if I had been a good girl i would get Easter eggs but if i had been a bad girl, then the bad bunny would come in and take them all away. she slept soundly that night, i on the other hand, didnt- i was waiting to see which bunny would come! heheAlso the time when we went to the chinese market and we saw the eels and us kids were all fascinated by the range of things they had. And on the way back we saw a man with puppets and they were dancing to the music and we pursuaded Greg to buy us one but ofcourse when we got home it didnt work however close we put the music to the puppet.I know we didnt see her much, but everytime we did, she always made me laugh and was always kind to me. xxxx

Corinne Michel
Dear Greg, Louisa and family,I’m so sorry to say that I cannot find the proper words to express my sadness by hearing Indira tragic's death , even though I’m sure it will not soothe your immeasurable sorrow.Nobody can imagine in which deeply felt grief you are, I just would like to self-effacingly say, that all our thoughts and love are with you and Indira.

Katie Walker
I went to school with Indira also, and was very upset 2 hear what happen to such a lovely girl!!! She was always so polite and always smilling!! Legend!! My sypathies are with Mr and Mrs Swann and Family x x

Amber Dernulc
I took far too long to find out. An old friend from college, I appreciated her friendship alot and she was always such a nice person.will miss you sweetheart, sorry i was rubbish at keeping in contactxxx

Kim Bodley
Never thought i would have to do say goodbye this early to a good friend. I'm glad i got to see dira before she left. She was so full of excitement and joy doing what she loved travel its just a shame it got cut short. I guess its true what they say...only the good die young...and she certainly was a special person to everybody! I'll cherish all the memories I have of newlands and at college.i miss u dira... i just hope ur up there looking down on all of us! I'll see you soon dappy xxxx

Gavin Mortimer
I have no connection with the Swann family, but the article in today's Sunday Times was one of the most moving pieces of writing it has ever been my privilege to read. You are an exceptional family, and it sounds as though Indira was an exceptionally loving young woman. I wish you all strength in this distressing time, and I hope you might find a crumb of comfort in a quotation from a Tom Stoppard play, describing the death of a young person: 'Nature doesn't disdain what lives only for a day. It pours the whole of itself into each moment... Life's bounty is in its flow; later is too late."

I found out at the same time as one of her teachers. It was a moment of surrealism. We sat in complete shock. Indira, you were a beautiful girl, a beautiful person, Not a day goes by when I don't think of you.R.I.PLove youx x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

I knew her at school. Her mother taught us at elligton. I also went to secondary school with her. I am still in shock what can I say indira was sweet,kind and full of life. My sypathies are with mrs swan and her family. so sorry to hear about your daughter. Indira R.I.P xxxxxxxxx

She was a very,nice,kind bright person always smiling,laughing I used to study with her it came to me as a big shoock my respects are to mrs swann my old teacher at school, Indira you were the best rest in peace. sorry about your daughter mrs swann she was the best!!!!

Sophie Alderson
I had the pleasure of being in indira's class at Newlands Girls School and she was such a lovely person. Everyone liked her and she will be sadly missed by everyone that knew her. She was a friend to all. R.I.P Indira xxxxxx

stacey pereira
i couldnt believe it when i saw it on the television that indira had gone, she was the nicest person who always had a smile for everyone. she was the only one to volunteer to show me around alwyn school on my first day. i had known her since alwyn right through til newlands. i am glad i experience school life with her and she will be dearly missed by everyone who she met. my heart goes out to her family who i heard so many great things about in the past and also to her boyfriend

Janet& Adrian Lappin
Dear Greg & LouiseWe are so sorry for the loss of your dear daughter Indira. It has been many years since we saw you last and it was a great shock to see you on the television giving your moving tribute to your daughter. We wanted you to know that you are in our thoughts & prayers.God bless Janet & Adrian(Elms Farm Infant School)

Graham Johnstone
We have known the Swanns for many, many years, worked together, eaten and drank together, laughed together, had weekends away together. Lizzie and Indira used to play with my two kids when they were small, they are similar ages and grew up together. Louise and Greg supported us through difficult times several years ago. We are devastated by this tragic event. Indira had blossomed into a beautiful, caring young woman with a bright future ahead of her. Our deepest thoughts and sympathies are with the Swanns at this time.

Kate Stone.
Dear Greg and Louise,Just like you I waved my son off on his gap year last December. We have to let them go, don't we?. I was so sad to hear of your loss and send you my heartfelt sympathy. I can only imagine what you must be feeling at this time. Indira died doing what she wanted to do - take comfort from that small thing.

Lesley Casey
I am writing as a mother of a daughter at present in India on her gap year travels. My heart goes out to you and I have prayed about you since I heard the news. Indira was a lovely girl and she would have been proud of the way you presented yourselves on TV and what you said about her. You were right to let her go, it is hard though and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Judith Phelan / Babbayan
I have had so many thoughts over the past few days. 'She shall not grow old as we that are left grow old' is but one. She will ever be remembered as a truly kind person. A bright girl who worked hard and gained superb GCSE's / A levels. Everything about her signalled a bright future - so the loss to the world is great. Hopefully to Indira it was experienced as a happy life. Everything was going well and the future looked great - then in a hopefully almost unnoticed moment it was gone.

Holli Shepherd
IndiraA spirit never shone so brightNor filled a room with rays of lightA smile which spread so far and wideTo those distant, or by your sideYour heart embroidered on your sleeve,Living life to the full you did believeInspiring to all, we all aspire to be,The angel you are but now we seeLife can be cruel and time cut short,To many people your life has taughtTo love and give and always stand tall,Never forgotten, missed by all. xXxXx

Sheena Thakrar
I still can't believe it. i feel so honoured that i was given the opportunity to meet her and go to school with her. She was, without a doubt, the lovliest person i've ever had the pleasure of knowing. She was always cheerful, chirpy, chatty and had a positive outlook on life. My thoughts are with her family and close friends.Dira will be greatly missed.Sweet dreams Dira xxxxx

Such A Fantastic Girl To Think Back And Remember!!! xxx

Tara Bennett
I went to school with Indira. I remember her smile so well. My thoughts are with her friends and family.

Taka Okawara
Dear Greg & Louise, I am so so sorry for this time suddenly happening. I just can't believe so far now. Not only I but also my wife Rika and my daughter Emily have been shocked and could not stop crying. We are so sad. Why it happened on Indira???? Indira was so kind to Emily when we visited your house and when we had a dinner in London. I never forget about it. Emily has been thinking to come to England to see Indira becuase of her kindness. Emily can't speak English. But she felt from Indira. She is eagerly studying in School because she wants to study in England because of Indira. Now we could not see her but her soul is living in all of our heart. I never forget about her kind and her exist. I don't know how to say about my feeling now in English. I am so so sorry for your treasure Indira. I pay tribute fro her. I had the news this morning from Koji. 16 Apr, 2008.

david swann
Just to say my family & i send you all our deepest sympathy & our thoughts are with you at this sad time. All our love David,Hazel,Kerrie & Ryan Swann.

Indira, (or Dira as we called her), and I went to college together - I couldn't believe it when I heard what had happened. She truly was the most sincere and beautiful person. She always had a smile on her face and had the personality that would light the room up in an instant.She was a wonderful person and will be missed by everyone who's life she touched.My thoughts are with her close friends and family - she will never be forgotten.

Imran Hussain
I didnt know her personally but her mother taught me in Ellington Primary School. Me, My Brother and Adnan Hussain would just like to pay our respects. ALso we would like to know when teh funeral is, if thats ok?

Olivia West
Dira, you were the most beautiful, optimistic, smiling person I ever had the pleasure of meeting, you never had a bad word to say about anyone and your happiness was infectious. I am so happy I have the memories of going to spain with you, i will never ever forget you and i take great comfort from the fact that you were doing something you loved. Louise, Greg and Lizzie, I never met you, but Dira always spoke fondly of you, I am so incredibly sorry for both you and Harry, my thoughts are with you. You must be so proud to have raised such a beautiful daughter and sister. Everyone who knew her was lucky to have had that opportunity, she was an angel on earth. I love you Dira, sleep well and keep smiling. xxx

Hanna Blissett
She really did light up a room. As little as I knew her, her loss still seems so devastating. my thoughts and my familie are with Louise, Greg and Lizzie, we are so so sorry for your loss.RIP Indira x

Charlotte Cook
A great person and a great friend you will be missed sweetie xx

Indira was one of the nicest people I met in our year at Newlands. She was full of life and had a bright future ahead of her. It's tragic to see such an amazing person to lose their life at a young age. My thoughts are with her family and friends...See you on the other side Dira...We'll miss

My heart goes out to family and close friends.Rest In Peace.x

Lucy Hewitt
She was a fantastic girl with a promising future ahead. It's so cruel she has been taken from us this early. Sleep well lovely we shall see you soon. xxxxx

Elizabeth Swann
Just to say thank you to everyone for your messages of support. It's really good to know people are thinking of her and of us at this difficult time.

Sophie Gorton
we miss and love you so much x

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. My heart goes out to her loved ones; it's such a tragic loss at such a young age. I can't imagine what you are going through but only hope that the pain you are feeling gets easier. xx

Luc Waterman
I went to school and college with Indira. We werent best mates but we would always say hello. She was actually one of THE nicest people ever! This is such a tragic loss to an amazing girl. i know she will be missed hugely around Maidenhead. RIP Indira xx

Richard Mills
I live in Marlow not far from the Swanns and lost my son Harry to Meningitis nealy a year ago. The circumstances are very different but Harry like Indira was full of life. I understood only to well what you are going when I watched your video. All I wanted to say is the pain will get easier and your memories forever cherished. You should set up a web site for Indira it is a wonderful way for thoughts and memories to be communicated. Harrys is at and it has become a focus for me and my family, freinds and people we do not even know. I am very sorry for your loss.Richard Mills & Family

Janet Davis
My thoughts and prayers are with you at the sad loss of your wonderful daughter.May your treasured memories bring you some comfort in your grief.God Bless you. Janet

Taz' mother
To Indira's parents,We only heard the news from our daughter, Taz, this morning. Taz was going to meet up with Indira in La Paz and fly together to Buenos Aires. I am so sorry to hear about the news. I know Taz was so looking forward to meeting up with Indira. She is obviously very upset at the moment, and doesn't know what she is going to do with the rest of her trip.I am sorry that I have to send this via such a public forum, but we don't know how else to contact you.We cannot possibly understand what you are going through right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.Kazumi & Charles Burns

keith doody
my heart goes out to louise and greg on there sad loss.i was and hope still a good friend with gregs twin brother ian and his wife margaretta. it has been four years since i last spoke to ian but after hearing the news of his brothers loss i had to ring and send my condolances to his family. i met greg and louise and imelda a couple of times in the past and we have had some good times together they were a very loving family also my thoughts are with their other daughter elizabeth lots of love keith and dorothy doody

Nikola Marshall
Greg, Louise, Elizabeth and Indira have always been a close and caring family. With a love for life, and respect for all people. Indira's tragic death has come as a great shock to family and friends, and she will be sadly missed. Greg, Louise, Elizabeth and Indira are in the thoughts and prayers of all the family. God Bless. Nikolasister, sister in law, aunt. x

You were so right to let her go and so dignified on tv. All our thoughts are with you. Alec,Lynn,Louise&Laura

I am currently in Ecuador working as an English teacher. The country and its people are beautiful and you should take comfort in the knowledge that Indira and her friends would have been enjoying some wonderful experiences.All the British teachers here send their love. We{re thinking of you.

natasha rees
i knew indira at school and she was one of the lovelist people i have met its so sad that shes now gone and so young, she will be greatly missed by everyone that knew her. X

im very sorry to hear about this, and my sympathy and best wishes are with her family.xx

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