Ilford MP Mike Gapes devastated over death of daughter, 19

13:08 18 May 2012

MP Mike Gapes whose daughter died last week

MP Mike Gapes whose daughter died last week


Devastated Ilford MP Mike Gapes spoke today of his shock over the sudden death of his 19-year-old daughter Rebecca.

Rebecca was found dead in her room in her student house in Canterbury, Kent, last Thursday afternoon. Her death is being treated as unexplained, but not suspicious and an inquest will be held.

Ilford South Labour MP Mr Gapes told the Recorder today he had been on a trip to Australia in his capacity as member of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee and had been woken by police in Canberra on Friday morning to tell him the shock news.

“I spoke to her on Monday night and exchanged Twitter messages, but then I noticed on Wednesday she had tweeted she was feeling ill,” said Mr Gapes.

“This is so difficult for me. Rebecca was an articulate, intelligent and caring young woman. She was very happy at University and doing really well. Rebecca was not just my daughter she was my best friend.

“I have dealt with people who have been bereaved but until something awful like this happens to you, you can never understand how it feels.”

Rebecca had attended Christchurch Primary School, Wellesley Road, Ilford, before going to Hainault Forest High, Harbourer Road, Hainault and then studying for her A-levels at Wanstead High, Redbridge Lane West, Wanstead.

She sang with Redbridge Music School and was studying for a degree in American Studies at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Mr Gapes added: “The last time I saw her was on her birthday last month when I drove her back to university. We had gone shopping in Canterbury and I had bought her loads of things for her room.”

A funeral will be held at 3pm on June 1 at Forest Park Cemetery and Crematorium, Hainault. Only close family are asked to send flowers, others may send donations to the Friends of Redbridge Music School, c/o Co-operative Funeral Care 215 Manford Way Chigwell Essex IG7 4DJ

A message of condolence was sent to Mr Gapes and his family by Mayor Cllr Muhammed Javed during a full meeting of Redbridge Council last night and the chamber stood for a minute’s silence.

1 comment

  • Words are so inadequate in circumstances like these. Mike - may you be given the strength to pull through this tragedy, and may Rebecca rest in peace.

    Report this comment

    Morris Hickey

    Saturday, May 19, 2012

Latest Ilford News Stories

47 minutes ago
The Goodgym team working out on one of the allotments in Redbridge

Have you ever been on the verge of going for a run, before bad weather or a good TV show has put you off?

Clean up teams on an action day in Ilford town centre on September 3.

Two fly-tippers were heavily fined after being caught red-handed during a Redbridge action day earlier this week.

Rosaleen Fenton, a reporter on the Ilford Recorder, will be holding a readers surgery this Friday

Whether you have a front page story or an event that you would like to promote, head on down to our community surgery at Metro Cafe, Seven Kings, today to tell our reporter all about it.

Ryedale care home in Ilford

A former employee at a closing care home has claimed the institution’s closure will come as a relief to members of staff.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Show Job Lists


£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now