Newbattle pupils and staff to remember Peter

Pupils at Newbattle High School will today remember their classmate Peter Ashton, who lost his fight against leukaemia in August aged 14.
Pupils at Newbattle High School will today remember their classmate Peter Ashton, who lost his fight against leukaemia in August aged 14.

Pupils and staff will come together today to remember Peter Ashton, the 14-year-old pupil who lost his brave battle with leukaemia in August.

Newbattle Community High School will hold a series of events today (Thursday) to raise money for cancer charities, including a sponsored walk and sponsored cycle.

Speaking to the Advertiser, headteacher Colin Taylor said: “It’s a very important day. It’s a year to the day that Peter was diagnosed. Peter lost his fight over the summer holidays. He put up a long and brave fight I have to say.

“Prior to his fight he had spoken about the school possibly doing a cycle event to raise money for cancer charities. So we are linking that cycle and a walk to a health day. Where we are going to promote health messages to the pupils as they go round the courses.

“Across the afternoon we will have a series of house sports competitions then we will have a danceathon in the hall. The original idea for the fundraising came from Peter but also quite a significant number of young people emailing me during the summer to say we really need to do something in Peter’s memory.

“So the idea really came from the pupils. They have rallied round and helped in the organisation of the day.”

Mr Taylor added: “It is going to be a sad day But we are hoping to on the day look back and remember Peter in a very positive way.

“We hope the youngsters will learn more about the disease and that their efforts will help the fight against cancer and support families, particularly families with young people who have cancer.

“That’s the good point coming out of this whole day.”

Pupil Keiran Pryde (14) admitted there will be mixed feeling at the school today.

He said: “To be honest, it’s a big day. Because everyone gets affected by cancer.

“It’s also good as we get to raise money for charity to stop stuff like this happening. So we hope to raise a lot of money.

“Obviously it’s remembering Peter and that bring up memories of people missing him. But it will be mixed feelings. As at least we can raise a lot of money.

“Just finding out he had cancer was hard to take. For someone so nice to have something so bad happen to them.”

Newbattle pupils ElliotRutherford and Lee Anderson (both 15) told the Advertiser of their memories of Peter.

Elliot said: “I remember playing him on the x-box. He liked Fifa but we were playing call of duty. Another memory of him was when he scored a goal for the school football team. He loved Hearts. He was a big Jambo.

“He was just a great guy, really funny. He had a good sense of humour.”

Lee added: “He was always smiling. And so friendly. Peter wouldn’t do anything to harm anyone. He was just so nice.

“He is missed by everyone here at Newbattle.”