Babbs Mill Park: Four boys who died after falling through frozen lake named

Four boys who died after falling through a frozen lake in Solihull have been named by police.

Brothers Finlay and Samuel Butler, and their cousin Thomas Stewart, were pulled from the freezing water and rushed to hospital on Sunday, December 11.

Eight-year-old Finlay and 11-year-old Thomas died a short time later.

Ten-year-old Jack Johnson also tragically died on Sunday. Sadly six-year-old Samuel lost his fight for life yesterday (December 14). 

West Midlands Police have issued a tribute on behalf of the family of Thomas, Finley and Samuel.

It reads: “As a family we are devastated at the loss of our beautiful boys Tom, Fin and Sam in such tragic circumstances.

"We would like to thank the emergency services for all they did in rescuing the boys and to the community for their support, it has been overwhelming. 

“We would like to pass on our condolences to Jack’s family at this very sad time, and ask for privacy from the media to begin to grieve.”

Flowers and tributes near to Babbs Mill Park Credit: Jacob King/PA

'Gonna miss you little man'

Thomas’ older brother paid tribute to him and his cousin ahead of the sad news that Sam had died.

He wrote: “Thomas was such a lively little soul, he had a big heart for such a young kid and he was so beautiful.

"He loved being outside playing with his mates. I love you Tom, big bro will take care of the family and I will see you soon.

"Make sure you keep practising on warzone and get a win, will you?

Members of West Midlands Fire Service pay tribute to the boys Credit: Matthew Cooper/PA

“Can’t forget about my dinosaur man Fin, he loved dinosaurs so much and always showing me new things he built on Minecraft and all the new stuff he learnt on it.

"Gonna miss you little man.”

Thousands raised

Thousands of pounds has been raised for the families of four young boys who died after falling into a freezing lake in Solihull.

Emergency services were first called to the scene at around 2.34pm on Sunday 11th December, after reports that people had got into difficulty.

Police officers initially went into the chilly waters and one tried to punch through the ice to try to rescue the youngsters.

The children were reached by specialist water rescue-trained firefighters who got the group to safety.

The four children were rushed to two Birmingham hospitals; Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Heartlands Hospital, where they all arrived in critical conditions. 

Flowers continue to be laid as people pay tribute to the boys.

Searches concluded

Extensive underwater searches were carried out and have now concluded.

Supt Rich Harris said: “This is a tragedy beyond words and a grief that is unimaginable for the families and friends of the boys.

“The support from the community has been overwhelming, not just for the bereaved families, but also for the emergency services, for which we are extremely grateful.

“Our officers will remain in the area in the coming days. Please come and speak to us if you need to.”

Candles, flowers and teddy continue to be laid for the four young boys who died after falling into a frozen lake at Babbs Mill Park. Credit: PA Images

School tributes

Staff at St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School and Park Hall Academy have also paid tribute to the children.

Cieran Flaherty, head teacher at St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School, said: “Jack was a loving, bubbly pupil with a heart of gold.

"Someone who would always check in on others and make sure they were doing ok.

"He was a joy to teach and a child who we are all so very proud of. A ray of sunshine who would never fail to make us all smile. We can only say thank you to him for brightening up our lives.

“The school family remains in a state of shock at this tragic news. The school is a small close knit family and we have a strong community that in times of adversity always pulls together.

"Our motto centred around our faith is actions speak louder than words and we can all be assured that our actions and prayers will centre on supporting Jack’s family, his classmates and the whole community.

“We are working with a range of agencies and have had expert advice on how best to support our staff and children.

“On Tuesday we welcomed back all our children by holding collective worship in each class and a special service of remembrance for Jack’s classmates.

“We thank everyone for their heartfelt messages of support locally and from around the world. Please keep our community in your prayers.”

Dr Toby Close, associate head teacher at Park Hall Academy, said: “It is with great sadness and the heaviest of hearts that Park Hall Academy announces the passing of our beloved Tom Stewart, aged 11.

“Tom was a well-liked, caring pupil with real character who went out of his way to look after those around him.

"He was a fiercely loyal friend to so many in our school community. In the short time he was at Park Hall, his outgoing personality, energy and wit shone through. 

“We will miss him brightening every day with his great sense of humour. He radiated a love for learning with his infectious smile and enthusiastic manner. 

“He will be greatly missed and will always hold a place in the hearts of everyone at Park Hall Academy. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this extremely difficult time.”