Tribute paid to a community and the man they searched for

A parish priest who has been providing spiritual comfort to the bereaved family of Thomas Lamb has been speaking about the tragedy.

Father John Campbell of St Lucy’s parish in Abronhill wa sthe priest who conducted the funeral of Thomas’ beloved wife Jean.

Two days later, distraught dad-of-three Thomas went missing, sparking the town’s biggest manhunt in recent memory.

It was a move that involved not only police and mountain rescuers, but a large cross-section of the community who worked night and day to try and find the vulnerable 79-year old.

Last Monday, their worst fears were realised when Thomas’ body was found at Palacerigg.

Father John Campbell who church was also used as a hub for the search party said: “Jean and Tommy were so close that many wondered how he would cope withough her. He literally was lost without her.

“Bereavement always brings disorientation and bewilderment and poor Tommy suffered this more than most. After Jean’s death, this is a terribly sad andunfair blow for Tommy to die so soon and in such terrible circumstances

“The thanks of our parish family and our Abronhill community go to all who asssited Tommy’s family in the searches.

“We are justifiably proud of our local and national police forces for all they have done in assisting the Lamb family and and in leaving no stone unturned in the search for Tommy.’’

“As a parish priest I have been on parish pilgrimage and holiday while this was happening, however I was in daily contact with our people and I am very proud in how they rallied and worked together, as a parish family.”

Councillor Elizabeth Irvine also paid tribute to Thomas and the community’s tireless search to find him.

She said: “He was a lovely wee man who was well known in the community - he did a lot of odd jobs for people. It is just so, so sad and I would like to send my condolences to the family. At least they have closure now.

“Like Father Campbell, I would also like to thank the police for everything they did. They get a lot of criticism but they did everything they could. The community itself has been so involved - I have said before this is a fine community here in Abronhill and everyone was really committed into joining the search.

“It is just such a pity that it ended the way it did.

The funeral will take place on Friday at St Lucy’s at 9.15am.