School friend and teacher pay tribute to Paris attack victim Nick Alexander from north Essex
- Credit: PA
Teachers at the school attended by Paris terror attack victim Nick Alexander have paid tribute to the “highly intelligent individual”.
Mr Alexander, 36, was killed last Friday night at the Bataclan music venue where he was selling merchandise for The Eagles of Death Metal.
Brought up in Weeley, Mr Alexander attended Colchester Royal Grammar School (CRGS) between 1991 and 1998.
English teachers Jerry Hadcock, who taught Mr Alexander, and Heidi Drake who was a fellow pupil, have together written a tribute remembering the school alumnus.
In it they said: “Soon after his name was published the newspaper photo confirmed the victim of the Paris killers was indeed our Nick Alexander. He was instantly recognisable, the bright eyes and finely-drawn face being very much as we remembered him.
“He had the look of an artist – thoughtful, sensitive and alert – and he did indeed love the arts, particularly music, in a way that became central to his life. It was music that brought him to the Bataclan Theatre, still quite a young man who should have had much more ahead of him.
“Nick is remembered as a highly intelligent and self-driven individual who threw himself into the things that he loved. He was fully involved in the extra-curricular life of the school, from operating the sound desk during assemblies to taking a leading role in student drama productions.
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“He was a good friend to those who needed him and was always willing to offer support to others.
“He was also quite the entrepreneur. He started a club night at the Colchester Arts Centre, where he found a lively group of like-minded young people to work with.
“In addition, in partnership with another student, he helped to collate and organise the works of Ralph Currey, a poet published in Britain and South Africa and a former head of English at CRGS. The handsome copy of Collected Poems is an enduring outcome.
“While being very much his own man, Nick had an easy-going manner with others that won him many friends. He was a distinctive part of his year group – gregarious, easy to pick out in a crowd, but without any sense that he sought that kind of individuality. It came naturally.
“The school knew relatively little about his life after CRGS, but, in the tributes paid to him by those who have known him more recently, we recognise the person whose life and energy was always so apparent while he was here. We note, too, with great sadness, how dearly this free-spirited young man had come to be loved.”
It is understood Mr Alexander was a Scout and Venture Scout in Weeley, and also attended St Andrew’s Church in the village.
In total 129 people were killed and hundreds injured in the series of co-ordinated attacks in Paris last week.
Several suspected militants were killed, including the alleged ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud, during a French police shoot-out on Wednesday.