Hundreds of tearful mourners attended the vigil and lay flowers

Hundreds of tearful mourners attend vigil and lay flowers for four boys who tragically died falling into frozen Solihull lake

  • There was a two-minute silence, tributes and youth choir in memory of the boys
  • Finlay Butler, eight, Sam Butler, six, and cousin Thomas Stewart, 11, sadly died
  • Jack Johnson, ten, died after he plunged himself in the lake to try to save them
  • On Monday morning an inquest into the deaths of the four boys is due to open

Hundreds of tearful mourners gathered to pay their respects at a second vigil to the four boys who died after falling into a frozen lake in Solihull. 

The shaken community had a two-minute silence, left tributes and listened to a youth choir in memory of the four children at Babbs Mill Park in Kingshurst, West Midlands this afternoon on Saturday, December, 17.

Jack Johnson, 10, suffered a cardiac arrest and died when he rushed to the aid of Finlay Butler, eight, his brother Sam Butler, six and their cousin Thomas Stewart, 11 at the park on Sunday, December, 11. 

The trio had reportedly gone to feed the ducks when the ice gave way and they fell into the freezing water at the Kingshurst beauty spot, before Jack, who happened to be nearby, bravely dived in to try and save them.

Tearful mourners lit candles, left flowers and write love filled messages to the families of the four boys who died  after falling into a Solihull lake on Sunday, December, 11

The shaken community joined each other  for a second time to pay their respects to the four boys. Sam was in hospital for three days before he died on Wednesday, December, 14. Finlay, Jack and Thomas died on Sunday, December, 11

During today’s vigil eight firefighters lined up to pay their respects. Mourners queued up to shake the hands and thank them for all their efforts to try and save the boys. 

During the vigil which started at 4pm spontaneous rounds of applause took place as well as many people lighting candles in memory of the four. 

Church leader Emil Kerekes, one of many who swung open his doors to give people a space to reflect and grieve, said: ‘Because of this incident people will remember Kingshurst as being united.

‘Everybody wants to help and everybody wants to pitch in.

‘If you know Kingshurst there’s always that feeling that nothing good happens here. But actually with this tragedy people have united around one cause.

‘People will remember Kingshurst for its community that has come together to support families. This is a united community that helps each other.’

Hundreds of floral tributes, candles, children’s toys and balloons were left near the lake to form a shrine. 

The tributes where filled with messages of love for the boys and support for their families.

Anne Broomes wrote: ‘Rest in peace little ones. Go forward and play with the angels. We will look for the cluster of four stars and give you a wave.’

And in a poignant message, Val Johnson paid tribute: ‘Fly high angels. May you all RIP. Sending love and strength to your families. Your boys are safe now. God bless.’

Ten-year-old Jack Johnson died after he ‘tried to save’ three other children on Sunday

Families have paid tribute to their ‘beautiful boys’. Pictured, brothers Finlay and Sam

Thomas, 11, also died following the tragedy. He was a cousin of the brothers Finlay and Sam.

Many arrived more than an hour before the Solihull vigil was officially scheduled to begin. 

There was a sombre and subdued atmosphere as mourners reflected just a stone’s throw from where the four children had their young lives cut short.

The community also held a vigil on Monday, December, 12 while Sam was fighting for his life in intensive care. 

Sam was in hospital for three days before he died on Wednesday, December, 14. Finlay, Jack and Thomas died on Sunday, December, 11.

The local community also held a vigil on Monday, December, 12 while Sam was fighting for his life in intensive care

A fundraising page was set up for the families of the boys. The ‘Babbs Mill Princes’ page has raised more than £66,000

Tributes to the boys were also paid at football matches on Friday, December, 16 and Saturday, December, 17. 

A minutes silence was also held for the boys at Birmingham City’s match on Friday night against Reading where the Blue’s and staff players also wore black armbands.

Footballers such as Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings and his teammate John McGinn visited the park to lay flowers.

Birmingham City’s head coach John Eustace also laid a wreath on behalf of the club.

Local pubs have also donated more than £4,000 to support the families which initially intended for a Christmas toy drive.

A fundraising page was set up for the families of the boys. The ‘Babbs Mill Princes’ page has raised more than £66,000 so far.

On Monday morning an inquest into the deaths of the four boys is due to open.

The incident happened in Babbs Mill Park, near Kingshurst, just outside of Birmingham

Hero passers-by — including brave Jack who had rushed to help after hearing screams — tried to pull the boys out of the lake but the trio, and then Jack too, were overwhelmed by the icy water.

Police, fire-fighters and paramedics then battled to bring the youngsters back to life.

Over a dozen emergency service vehicles rushed to the nature park after members of the public desperately tried to help the children.

Oliwia Szewc (pictured), 13, who was meeting a friend on Sunday when the tragedy struck, said she was desperately pulling off tree branches to try and pass to the boys to help pull them out but that they were all too short

Among those who rushed to the aid of the boys was 13-year-old Oliwia Szewc, who used tree branches to try and pull the them out of the water, but they were too short.

She and her friend later offered up their coats to help bring their temperatures up after they were brought to land.


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