Tributes paid to 24-year-old who died in his friend’s arms following crash in the Philippines

Tributes have been pouring in to an “incredibly funny, witty and loving” son from Hinckley who died in his friend’s arms following a motor scooter crash in the Philippines.

Joseph Gilchrist Branson, 24, was travelling around Asia with friends when he was killed in a scooter accident in San Juan, Siquijor, Philippines, on August 23.

His family said debris from roadworks may have caused him to fall off his scooter and hit his head on a sign.

He died in the arms of one of his best friends, Joe Rock, from Burbage.

His mum Abigail Gilchrist, 63, of Woodland Road, Hinckley, said:

Joe had been travelling around South East Asia with girlfriend Ria Timbrell, from Hinckley, and friends since April.

The music fan worked as a director at his mum’s firm thebase2be, a community service which supports people with learning and physical disabilities in the town.

He attended Holliers Walk Primary School before moving onto the former Mount Grace High School, John Cleveland College and the Nuneaton campus of North Warwickshire and Hinckley College.

Scores of friends have also paid tribute to the “unforgettable” and “hilarious” man.

Mark Timms, 27, who has flown back from China to pay his respects, said:

Sam Harrison, 26, Leicester Tigers scrum-half, added: “Everyone loved him, he had so many friends. He just had this ability to make people smile and laugh.

“We used to go to raves in Birmingham together and skateboarding. I’ve known him for eight years and he will be deeply missed by all.”

Mum Abigail and dad Richard thanked his friends, family and Joe Rock’s family for being “incredibly supportive.”