Woodland tribute unveiled at Swaffham school to tsunami victim Louise

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A new memorial woodland area has been unveiled in memory of a Swaffham woman who was killed in the Asian tsunami disaster almost 10 years ago.

Relatives and officials from a town community group joined forces to raise £5,000 to develop the ground, which was formally named in memory of Louise Willgrass on Friday.

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And Louise’s father, Mike Cornwell, said the opening ceremony was an emotional occasion.

He said: “It doesn’t seem possible that it’s coming up to 10 years.”

As previously reported, Louise, 43, had been on holiday with her family in Thailand at the time of the disaster in December 2004.

Around £800,000 was raised for a fund set up in her name to fund re-building projects in Thailand.

But Mr Cornwell said his family had “jumped” to the chance of being able to remember Louise closer to home.

The project was funded through money raised by the Swaffham Rotary Club, of which Mr Cornwell is a long-standing member, and money raised by Louise’s sister, Sally, in the years since her death.

Mr Cornwell explained: “She had a little party for Louise in her house every night for about six or seven years.”

The new woodland area was unveiled at the Sacred Heart School, where Louise was a former pupil and where it will be used by the Little Pedlars pre-school group.

Louise’s mother, Jane Cornwell, praised the school, saying: “We had a really lovely time. They did us proud.”

And Mr Cornwell said that was a particularly appropriate way to remember his daughter.

He said: “She looked after babies as her career and she met lots of very, very nice people in the area and she became very popular indeed.

“All we kept saying was how much she would have loved it. It would have meant so much to her.”