Discovery of man’s body in Sible Hedingham gives closure to family of Essex 82-year-old Gordon Wilson

07:00 28 January 2016

Gordon Wilson with family (Left to right) Kirsty, Gillian, Scott, Lesley and Mhairi

Gordon Wilson with family (Left to right) Kirsty, Gillian, Scott, Lesley and Mhairi


The family of Leaden Roding 82-year-old Gordon Wilson say they now have closure after the discovery of a man’s body in a wooded area in Sible Hedingham at the weekend.

Mr Wilson, who suffered from vascular dementia, had been missing for nearly three months following his disappearance from his home on Sunday, October 25.

The body of the man, which has not yet been formally identified, was found by a member of the public at around 1.45pm on Saturday (January 23) and the death is not being treated as suspicious.

Mr Wilson’s daughters, Lesley Rankin, 54, and Gillian Wilson, 49, have remained committed throughout in the search for their dad.

Mrs Wilson said: “We’re devastated and still in shock. While he was missing, there was still a small sliver of possibility that he was alive, but at least we now know what happened to him.

“Obviously the police have to do their identification but we know it’s him. I said a few weeks ago that it was almost like a double loss. We had lost our dad and his body, but now we are able to lay him to rest next to his wife and have a funeral.

“We will also probably have a memorial service for him in Glasgow.”

Mrs Wilson said her dad had been found on farmland south-west of Sible Hedingham, which was not the direction that police and rescue teams had been searching.

She said: “We worked it out he’d walked about eight miles after getting off the bus in Halstead, and it looks as though he went into Sible Hedingham and then tried to go back towards Halstead.

“From what we’ve been told, he laid down under some bushes and it was all very peaceful.”

Mr Wilson was a former headteacher of Shawlands Academy in Glasgow, and moved to Essex 11 and a half years ago with his wife Sybil to be closer to their three grandchildren - Scott, 23, Kirsty, 22, and Mhairi, 17.

Sybil, who grew up with Gordon in Glasgow after first meeting him as a child in 1938, also suffered from vascular dementia and died in July 2013.

Mrs Wilson said: “My mum and dad moved down to be closer to family and my dad helped tutor his grandchildren, who are all doing very well at school and university, which is evidence of his teaching.

“He liked to help people, that was really his defining quality. He was a very jolly man with an engaging personality, but he was also a very effective and disciplined man, who helped turned round schools in Glasgow.

“We’ve been contacted by many ex-students who have said what a big help he was in their lives.”

Mr Wilson is survived by two younger siblings; a sister, Maureen, who lives in Canada, and brother Sandy, who lives near Portsmouth.

Note: All photographs in the gallery have been supplied by Gordon’s family as a tribute to his life.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Dunmow Broadcast visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Dunmow Broadcast staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Dunmow Broadcast account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Yesterday, 14:56

Residents in Uttlesford want to see more investment in children’s physical activities, according to an independent study on leisure and recreation in the district.

Mon, 11:05

Various items were stolen from a house in Green Lane, Little Hallingbury, following a break-in on June 17 between 8.15am and 2.15pm. The front door was forced and thieves conducted a messy search of the bedrooms on the first and second floor.

Mon, 10:03
Fire engine driving along road in rain

A number of homes were flooded in Thaxted on Saturday (June 25).

Saturday, June 25, 2016
Casual Father

In my opinion, there are few things more uniquely British than a street party. So it was both an honour and a pleasure to be able to take Elizabeth to her first one last Sunday, aged just eight months old.

Digital Edition

Read the Dunmow Broadcast e-edition E-edition

Most read stories

Newsletter Sign Up