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In memory of Isobel


The memorial for balloon tragedy victim Isobel Callaghan, who died in 2003 aged five
The memorial for balloon tragedy victim Isobel Callaghan, who died in 2003 aged five

The memorial for balloon tragedy victim Isobel Callaghan, who died in 2003 aged five
A CHURCH service  and memorial rededication has  been held in Brevörde for Isobel Callaghan, who died aged five in a freak accident at a military show in Rheindahlen nine years ago.

The small memorial had been on the wall at St Boniface Church in JHQ since shortly after the British girl’s death on June 8, 2003, but has now been moved to the new location as the church is due to close early next year as part of drawdown.

Brevörde, a small picturesque town on the banks of the Wesser close to Hameln, is where Isobel is laid to rest. Her mother, Hannalore Callaghan, lives in the area with her family.

At Whitsun 2003 the BFG community was deeply shocked to learn of how the five-year-old was the victim of a freak accident at the JHQ International Show.

Isobel was dragged into the air during a fierce storm after becoming entangled in a rope attached to a helium balloon ride. Her body was found near the deflated balloon several hours later, some 70km from Rheindahlen at Hamminkeln, near Wesel.

British girl Isobel Callaghan, who died in a freak accident at a military showThe child was visiting the JHQ Show with her dad, Cpl Robert Callaghan, who was serving with 35 Engineer Regiment in Paderborn,   Hannalore, a German national, and her four-year-old brother Stuart.

The service on June 8 of this year – the ninth anniversary of the girl’s death – was held inside St Urban church by Pastor Härke before the memorial was rededicated in a small room off the cemetery chapel. 

It was attended by family and friends and the weather was nice throughout.

This will not be the permanent home for the memorial as it is to be moved into the main part of the chapel when the paperwork has been completed.

The memorial is a small box with a glass front showing a white beanie angel doll inside that was Isobel’s favourite toy, along with a plaque.

In JHQ flowers were always present on a table placed underneath it for the almost nine years it was there.

Hannalore wishes to express her thanks to everyone who has looked after the memorial in St Boniface Church over the years and also to Padre Colin Craven for making the move possible.