Salisbury hospital garden fund in memory of Horatio Chapple nears target
A charity which has been raising funds for a memorial garden for a Wiltshire schoolboy killed by a polar bear has said the response was phenomenal.
Eton pupil Horatio Chapple, 17, from Bishopstone, died after being attacked on an expedition in Norway last August.
A memorial fund to create a garden at Salisbury District Hospital has raised over £270,000 of a £300,000 target.
Sue Hall, from the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust, said the "shocking tragedy" had "touched so many people".
The rehabilitation area is for patients at the hospital's Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre.
The teenager wanted to study medicine and had volunteered at the centre where his father is a consultant surgeon.
After he was killed, his parents set up a memorial fund to benefit the centre's garden appeal.
David Chapple, the teenager's father, said the charity had helped the family "to focus on the positives".
"This has been a focus for myself, my wife, Horatio's brothers - it's allowed so many friends, family, supporters to focus on hopefully a legacy that will be there to honour his life," he said.
"And I hope he would feel honoured and proud of the support that has been shown since he died."
Sue Hall, from the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust (SSIT), said the garden was "going to help so many people".
"I think it's lovely for the family to have him associated with that garden - to know that it's really going to make such a difference to the quality of life of patients who are unfortunate enough to have a spinal cord injury.
"It was such a shocking tragedy and it's touched so many people - people who didn't know Horatio didn't know the family - but they were all so shocked by what had happened and people just want to do something to help."
A memorial stone to Horatio will feature in the garden, which is due to open in September.
Horatio was on a trip organised by the British Schools Exploring Society (BSES) when the polar bear attacked its campsite in Svalbard.
The 250kg bear was shot dead by a member of the group.
Group leader Michael Reid, 29, from Plymouth; Andrew Ruck, 27, from Brighton; 17-year-old Patrick Flinders, from Jersey; and 16-year-old Scott Bennell-Smith, from St Mellion in Cornwall; were also injured.