'Little Cherub' Told Of Ski Joy Before Crash

A British boy told of his delight at his improving skiing skills during a school trip to Switzerland - just days before he was killed in a coach crash at the end of the holiday.

Sebastian Bowles, 11, was among 22 children and six adults who died when the vehicle hit a wall in a motorway tunnel as they were returning home to Belgium.

Sebastian, who had a British father and a Belgian mother, wrote a message to his parents on a blog from the Swiss Alps.

He told them the holiday destination was "really great" and added: "Dearest Mama, Papa, Helena and Flopsy... I can already ski quite well."

He added: "It's very cool. Yesterday was the casino night and evening torchlight. Cool!"

Mr and Mrs Bowles lived in Crouch End, north London, before moving to Belgium in 2009 so they could be closer to her relatives.

In the UK, Sebastian attended Our Lady of Muswell Catholic Primary School from September 2003 to July 2009.

A statement from the school's head teacher, staff, pupils and board of governors said: "Our school community is still reeling from the shock of this terrible accident.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Sebastian's family at this tragic time. He was a wonderfully vibrant boy who is so fondly remembered by pupils, staff and parents at Our Lady of Muswell.

"He was known by staff as 'the little cherub'. He will be greatly missed. Today the school held a one-minute silence to remember Sebastian."

After moving to Belgium, Sebastian joined St Lambertus School in Heverlee.

As a period of silence took place to remember the victims, children gathered in the playground were handed white balloons to release into the sky.

School representative Dirk De Gendt said Sebastian's father Edward and mother Ann landed in Brussels on Thursday night after identifying their son's body in Switzerland.

Mr De Gendt said: "They landed in Brussels at 10.45pm. The mother had gone to Switzerland with a group of parents and the father had flown directly from London to Switzerland."

He appealed for the parents to be left to grieve in private.