Mother still has lunch that daughter took on day of Dunblane massacre

Mother of Dunblane victim, 5, reveals she still has ‘her daughter’s lunch money and snack from that day’ and says she still feels ‘guilty’ for sending her to school where gunman killed 16 children

  • Thomas Hamilton opened fire on Dunblane Primary School in tragic massacre 
  • Lynne McMaster’s daughter Victoria Clydesdale was one of the 16 children killed
  • Lynne speaks with Lorraine Kelly on ITV programme to mark 25th anniversary

The mother of a five-year-old girl who was shot dead in the Dunblane massacre has revealed she still has her daughter’s ‘lunch money and snack from that day’.

Lynne McMaster dropped her daughter Victoria Clydesdale off at Dunblane Primary School, Stirling, on the morning of March 13, 1996.

But shortly after 9.30am, teacher Gwen Mayor and 16 pupils – including Victoria – were killed when Thomas Hamilton, 43, burst through the gym doors and fired off 105 shots in quick succession, before turning the two handguns on himself.

In ITV’s Return To Dunblane with Lorraine Kelly, which airs tonight at 9pm to mark the 25th anniversary of the tragedy, Lynne reveals how she’s never parted with any of her daughter’s belongings and still feels ‘guilty’ for sending her to school.

‘I couldn’t put anything of her’s out. I’d feel as though I’m putting her out,’ she says, after admitting she even still has Victoria’s lunch – ‘two 50 pence pieces and Roast Chicken crisps’ – from that day. 

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Lynne McMaster (pictured) dropped her daughter Victoria Clydesdale off at Dunblane Primary School, Stirling, on the morning of March 13, 1996


But shortly after 9.30am, teacher Gwen Mayor and 16 pupils – including Victoria (pictured) – were killed when Thomas Hamilton, 43, burst through the gym doors and fired off 105 shots in quick succession, before turning the two handguns on himself

Lynne moved out of Dunblane soon after the massacre, which remains the deadliest firearms atrocity in the UK. She recalls: ‘It was like a ghost town and I thought “No, I need to get out of here”. 

‘So I found a place up here and moved up but with Victoria, there was nothing that I was leaving behind. 

‘It was like her clothes, her toys, even her cutlery, her plate, her bowl, even her mug. Everything of hers was packed. 

‘And I’ve even still got her lunch money and her snack from that day. Two 50 pence pieces and a packet of Roast Chicken crisps. I couldn’t put anything of hers out. I’d feel as though I’m putting her out. 

‘Now it’s in a big giant suitcase and if I decide to look a them, then that is my time that I spend with Victoria,’ the mother explained to presenter Lorraine. 

In ITV’s Return To Dunblane with Lorraine Kelly, which airs tonight at 9pm to mark the 25th anniversary of the tragedy, Lynne reveals how she’s never parted with any of her daughter’s belongings. Pictured, etacher Gwen Mayor (left) with Primary One class

Lynne also admits that she still feels guilty since she didn’t want to send Victoria (pictured) to school that day as the little girl had a rash, but the pupil was desperate to make it because she had her favourite lesson – gym

She also admits that she still feels guilty since she didn’t want to send Victoria to school that day as the little girl had a rash, but the pupil was desperate to make it because she had her favourite lesson – gym. 

Lynne says: ‘I relive that day over and over and over. Because she had gym that day, she wanted to go, so I’ve got the guilt of giving in to her.’

Elsewhere in the programme, Colin McKinnon, whose six-year-old son Brett died during the massacre, tells how he attempted ­suicide after the tragedy.

He says: ‘To go to the mortuary and have to identify your wee boy with bullet holes in his face, that’s going to change people forever. Something like that never leaves you.

Meanwhile, the medic who was first at the scene of the shooting insists to Lorraine (pictured) he will be haunted by the tragedy until he dies

Lorraine Kelly and Eamonn Holmes pictured presenting GMTV live from Dunblane Cathedral the day after the shootings

‘Eventually I just had a complete breakdown and I tried to take my life. Luckily it wasn’t successful and I’m here today.’

Meanwhile, the medic who was first at the scene of the shooting insists he will be haunted by the tragedy until he dies.

Les Haire spoke about the horrifying moment he entered the gym hall where 16 children and their teacher Gwen were shot dead. 

He says: ‘It was quiet, really quiet. All I heard was a wee bit of ­whimpering. The children were spread around the gym and I started going around to see who was alive and who was dead.

Elsewhere in the programme, Colin McKinnon (pictured with his son), whose six-year-old son Brett died during the massacre, tells how he attempted ­suicide after the tragedy 

Colin (pictured) said: ‘Eventually I just had a complete breakdown and I tried to take my life. Luckily it wasn’t successful and I’m here today’

‘On the right side was Gwen Mayor, the teacher, who had obviously passed away and two ­children by her side. To me, she looked like a mother hen trying to protect her chicks. 

‘The ones who were injured, they just lay there scared. The fear that was in the faces of the ones that had passed away will haunt me until I go,’ he adds.

Gwen’s daughter Debbie tells Lorraine of her pride after discovering her mother struggled with the gunman to protect her Primary One class.

Teacher Gwen’s daughter Debbie (pictured together) tells Lorraine of her pride after discovering her mother struggled with the gunman to protect her Primary One class

Debbie (pictured) says: ‘My mum went to her work as a teacher and never came home. Her lipstick was still on her coffee cup’

She says: ‘My mum went to her work as a teacher and never came home. Her lipstick was still on her coffee cup… There was evidence she had been punched. One of the children said she had struggled with him and her defensive wounds showed that.

‘She was standing in front of a man who had weapons and enough ammunition to kill a whole school and she put up a fight and I just think that says everything about her.

‘I do think that she went with the children for a reason and that’s the only way I can get comfort from it.’

Return To Dunblane with Lorraine Kelly ITV 9pm tonight.

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org 

THE UK’S DEADLIEST FIREARMS ATROCITY: THE DUNBLANE PRIMARY SCHOOL MASSACRE

Disgraced former Scout leader Thomas Hamilton was 43 when he carried out the planned execution of innocents, first cutting the school’s telephone wires before making his way to the gym hall armed with four legally-held handguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Inside the gym, 28 primary one pupils were preparing for PE class as he entered and began shooting, killing 16 children and their teacher Gwen Mayor and injuring 15 others. 

The massacre on March 13, 1996, shortly after 9.30am in the Stirlingshire town shocked the nation and led to the UK enforcing some of the strictest firearms legislation in the world.   

Hamilton became a Scout leader in 1973, at the age of 20, but was asked to leave the following year because of complaints about his behaviour at camp.

Before the Dunblane massacre, Britain’s deadliest shooting was in Hungerford, Berkshire.

On August 19 1987, gun fanatic Michael Ryan went on a shooting rampage in Hungerford, a market town in Berkshire.

Armed with an automatic rifle, a pistol and at least one hand grenade he shot 16 people dead, including his mother, before killing himself.  

His victims included a police officer who tried to tackle him. At least another 15 people were also injured.  

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