Author Archives: Vanessa Kennedy

In memory of Charlie Dunne

As the School Community comes to terms with the very sad loss of Charlie Dunne, our continued support and thoughts are with his family and friends.

The ‘Memories of Charlie’ book remains open for anyone to sign and we will present this to the family at the right time.

Over the past days there has been much press coverage of the tragic events that have engulfed the Dunne family and our School. On Tuesday 17 July, we held a special gathering for Charlie’s year group and any Old Aylesburians wishing to return and share in their loss. The event provided an opportunity for Year 13 to return to School from exam leave and speak to staff, to their peers and to remember Charlie.

With photographs, video and a number of incredibly emotional reflections from staff, the overriding feeling was one of celebrating a life that filled us all with happiness. Charlie was one of the special young people that had boundless positivity. He was the embodiment of being an Aylesburian, ready to take on any challenge, supporting others and always giving to his community.

Thank you to everyone who attended and to all the staff for their incredible strength at such a challenging time.

The Dunne family would like us to share the details of the funeral arrangements and specifically the opportunity to donate in Charlie’s memory to the two charities that were close to his heart, the RNLI and the Aylesbury Grammar School Malawi initiative.

If you would like to donate please follow the link here:

I would like to end by saying that Aylesbury Grammar School is a great School, not because of its exam results or sporting success, nor because of the achievements of our alumni or performing arts, but because the whole School community cares. Every member of staff cares, all of us are Aylesburians.

Once an Aylesburian, always an Aylesburian.

Goodbye Charlie, our friend, an Aylesburian.


Mark Sturgeon


Sad news from Aylesbury Grammar School

It is with great sadness that we have to share with you the news that Charlie Dunne, one of our Year 13 students in Denson House, has died after suffering a terrible accident on a beach in North Devon, whilst on holiday.

Charlie had recently completed his A levels. He attended the Leavers’ Ball on Sunday 8 July and then travelled to North Devon for a holiday with family and some friends. Whilst on the beach Charlie suffered a terrible accident that left him with a catastrophic injury to his vertebrae causing spinal injury and cardiac arrest.

His family took the impossible decision to turn off the life support that had been assisting Charlie since the accident. Charlie died on Wednesday evening. Charlie was registered as an organ donor and there is some comfort in him living on in others and potentially transforming their lives.

Charlie was lively, inquisitive, friendly and helpful young man. He was always smiling, always happy and was well known across the whole School. His impact on Denson House, on the rugby squad and his friends cannot be underestimated and our thoughts and support are with the family and the whole Aylesburian community.

We are in contact with Charlie’s family and helping them in any way we can at this most difficult of times. The teaching staff and his closest friends have all been informed as well as special assemblies held across the School. The outgoing Year 13 have been invited back into School to share in their loss with us over the coming days and a ‘Memories of Charlie’ book has been opened for those who wish to share and contribute, located in the Boardroom.

As can be imagined this tragic news has hit the School community very hard. It is important for individuals to express their feelings and also get the support they need. As a result counselling capacity for staff and students will be provided in the coming days. We will be writing to all parents this week and would like to thank everyone for their kind words and support.

Once an Aylesburian, always an Aylesburian.

Mark Sturgeon