Tributes to former teacher John Stewart killed by a train

Drayton level railway crossing, near Oving Chichester.
Drayton level railway crossing, near Oving Chichester.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a former teacher at St Philip Howard Catholic High School who was killed by a train.

John Stewart, who lived in Yapton, was hit by a passenger service at the Drayton Lane level crossing about 8pm last Wednesday.

A BTP spokesman said: “A 57-year-old man, from Yapton, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics from the South East Coast Ambulance Service.

“The incident is currently not being treated as suspicious.

“The man’s family have been informed and a file will be prepared for the coroner.”

Following news of the death, tributes to Mr Stewart have been paid by former students of St Philip Howard, in Barnham, where

Mr Stewart had previously been an English teacher.

Robbie Collins, 27, of Pagham, who teaches at Barnham Primary School, said: “Mr Stewart was one of those teachers who really made a difference to all those he taught.

“His passion for his subject was infectious and his love for teaching was clear for all to see.

“Speaking personally, it was Mr Stewart’s enthusiasm for teaching which inspired me to want to become a teacher and it was his mentoring and advice that actually made this a possibility.

“During our A-level literacy lessons, Mr Stewart would bring texts to life and would ensure that everyone in the class was as excited about the book as he was.

“He had a way of making the most confusing book accessible and opened up our minds to what an exciting place the literary world can be.”

Writing on social media website Facebook, Caroline Gawley, 24, said: “(He was) the teacher who inspired me most through every pivotal moment I had with English, who made me fall in love with poetry, who always believed in me, was the first to say I should be an English teacher all those years ago and fought hard to stop me dropping out of sixth form.

“(He) has died suddenly and far too young.”

Alex Field said that Mr Stewart was the kind of teacher that ‘left a lasting effect on you for the rest of your life’.