A popular teacher at a south Bristol school has died following an avalanche on Ben Nevis.
Former soldier Mark Bessell was the outdoor educational & external visits coordinator at Ashton Park School where his wife Charlie is head of science.
The 49-year-old was an experienced climber and expedition leader, who accompanied a group of 20 sixth-formers on a trip to Iceland in 2022.
Mark passed away on Friday following the “tragic accident” on the highest mountain in the UK.
He suffered what Ashton Park headteacher Richard Uffendell called “a significant fall and despite the efforts of mountain rescue has sadly passed away”.
In a letter to parents and carers, Uffendell said: “I am sorry to inform you that a well-respected and long standing member of our staff, Mark Bessell, died tragically in a climbing accident on Ben Nevis during the New Year break.
“Our thoughts are with Mark Bessell’s family at this time, especially his wife Charlie who also works at Ashton Park School as Head of Science. We are in contact with Charlie and are following her wishes and respecting her privacy.
“Mark will be deeply missed by us all as he has had such a positive impact on the lives of so many students, staff, families and the wider communities, but he will never be forgotten.
“Mark led on a number of trips, ran our Adventure Club, Duke of Edinburgh and Ten Tors and when we have more information about our next steps with these events we will be in touch, but at this sensitive time I ask for your patience and understanding.
“We will be in touch in due course with details of how our school and community will pay tribute to Mark’s life and continue the outstanding work he led within outdoor education.”
Main photo: Ashton Park School
- Protests at Bristol secondary school
- Cars could be banned outside two city centre schools
- Parents protest ‘derogatory treatment’ of pupils
Listen to the latest Bristol24/7 Behind the Headlines podcast: