A FAMILY last night paid tribute to a talented student who died in mysterious circumstances aged 19. Sophia Forrester, formerly of Skircoat Moor Road, Savile Park, was a first-year French student at the University of Leeds. Postmortem results were inconclusive.
Her older sister, Natasha, paid tribute to Sophia, saying: “We were very close.”
She added: “I have been talking to her friends and they keep saying they’ll never meet anyone as nice as her.”
Sophia studied French, Spanish and Business at Greenhead College and went on to study languages at university.
She had hoped to incorporate her love for France by studying abroad, spending a year in Paris.
She excelled in Spanish and had spent each summer since she was six holidaying in Spain.
“She was able to manage doing really well at school and having a very full social life,” said Natasha.
“She was a very happy person. Everybody described her as smiley, nice and friendly. She had a great laugh, a really great giggle.
“I’m just going to miss her so much. She was my best friend,” said Natasha. Sophia went to school at North Halifax Grammar School. Until she was 11, Sophia attended The Gleddings, in Skircoat.
Her funeral will be held at St Jude’s church, Savile Park, on May 31 at 11am. She will then be buried at a family plot at Bexhill in East Sussex.
A tribute page called “In Loving Memory of Sophia Forrester” on social network site Facebook has more than 400 members.
Her friends have begun sharing memories of the much-loved student.
Amie Godward said: “Just been to church to light a candle for you Soph, and to say a prayer for you, your family, David and the rest of the group. Hope you’re doing alright up there sweetie.”
Jess Sommerlad said: “Death is always unfair, but I could never imagine this happening to someone like you. I’ve got a lot of happy memories of our friendship. Always full of joy and smiles and willing to tolerate the faults of others. Words are never enough at times like these but you will be missed very much by very many. I hope we meet again.”
Head of department Russell Golbourne emailed students on Monday to tell them about her sudden, and so far unexplained death.
“She will be remembered as a lively, easy-going young woman. In the relatively brief time she spent at Leeds, she made a large number of very good friends and established herself as an important member of our community,” he said.
He said she was a bright, gifted and hard-working student and had recently enrolled for her second year modules.
He said staff and students both shared the devastation of her family.
“We share their sense of loss and feel something of their pain. Death is part of what makes us human, but when it comes so unexpectedly into the life of a young woman, so full of potential and promise, it is especially hard to deal with, let alone understand,” he wrote.
Leeds Coroners office said an inquest was expected to be open and adjourned tomorrow.