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Family mourns talented 21-year-old

PUBLISHED: 17:35 14 February 2005 | UPDATED: 18:30 24 February 2010

ONE of Suffolk's best-known families is grieving following the tragic death of a talented 21-year-old.

The body of Freddy Henniker-Major, the son of Lesley Henniker-Major and the new Lord Henniker, formerly Mark Henniker-Major, was found in the woods at Thornham, near Eye.

ONE of Suffolk's best-known families is grieving following the tragic death of a talented 21-year-old.

The body of Freddy Henniker-Major, the son of Lesley Henniker-Major and the new Lord Henniker, formerly Mark Henniker-Major, was found in the woods at Thornham, near Eye. He lived at Thornham Hall with his mother.

One of the couple's five children, he was musically gifted and a talented actor.

At the time of his death he was researching a project to enable him to raise funds to help a mission hospital and its local community in Zambia.

Freddy attended the village school in neighbouring Thorndon before going to Orwell Park School, near Ipswich, and then to Eton.

He returned to Eye to become a student at Hartismere High School and then went on to Cambridge where he obtained excellent results in his A-levels.

The results won him a £1,200 prize which he used to finance a trip to Zambia.

He visited the country with his mother in the company of family friends who were setting up an agricultural and forestry project to help relieve the impact of poverty in a rural area.

Lady Henniker-Major, a past chairman of Suffolk County Council and former Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate, said last night: “He was such a gentle child and had a circle of loyal friends. He was an incredibly talented pianist, played the guitar and was a superb actor.

“But for the last three years, after taking his A-levels, while trying hard to pursue his studies and maintain a balanced view of the world, he frequently lost his way and found real difficulty in understanding the purpose of life.

“His friends have always been loyal and supportive throughout his life, especially during his dark periods. As a result of this shocking tragedy, they have been coming back from all corners of the country to try to comfort the family, particularly Freddy's younger brother, Edward.”

His parents also released a statement, which read: “Freddy was an extremely sensitive and thoughtful boy.

“We shall always remember him as very kind, loving and generous-spirited. His tragedy was that he was unable to recognise or build on his own considerable talents and achievements.”

Freddy was among 3,000 youngsters a few years ago who auditioned for the West End show, Oliver. He was offered a part but turned it down on the advice of Eton, where he was in his first term.

A talented footballer, he was captain of his house team at Eton and later played for Rickinghall.

Richard Hewitt, headteacher at Hartismere High School, said: “He was an integral part of our sixth form and was popular with everyone who knew him.

“Staff and former students are shocked and saddened and are thinking of his family at this time.”

An inquest into Freddy's death was opened and adjourned yesterday by the Lowestoft coroner.

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