The family of a much-loved Newmarket husband and stepfather, who was found dead at Beachy Head in Sussex on Friday, have urged anyone suffering with depression to seek help.
Fifty-three-year-old Bruce Antell walked out of his Exning Road home on Monday July 24 and his family never saw him alive again. He had removed his sim card from his phone so he could not be contacted by his wife, Tracy Hyland or any family members or friends. After taking a train to Cambridge, where he used to work, he had made his way to the Sussex beauty spot, which has become notorious for suicides, and where his body was discovered on Friday.
His death has left his family devastated and searching for answers as, according to his stepson, Tim Hyland, he had shown no signs there was anything wrong.
Twenty-seven-year-old Tim, who lives in Norwich, said: “My mum and Bruce had visited us the weekend before he went missing. We had a great family weekend and he had congratulated my brother whose partner had just had her 12 week scan for the baby they are expecting. He was on form, very funny and very sharp. I did not see this coming, I don’t think any of us did, which makes it all the harder to take it. All I know is that there must have been something he had not told anyone and he just could not deal with it.
“So if there is a message we want to put out there, it is that there’s nothing wrong with asking for help.”
On Sunday Tim, his brother Matt and their partners, took their mother to Beachy Head where they were able to pay their respects. “We took flowers and put a letter in a beer bottle and left it there for Bruce,” said Tim. “It wasn’t what I expected – it was such a beautiful and peaceful place and we found it very comforting.”
He said the family had been overwhelmed with the support they received during the week Mr Antell was missing. “I cannot believe the amount of work put in in trying to find him and my mum has been really touched by it,” said Tim.
Mrs Hyland, who works in the X-ray department at Newmarket Hospital, said she really wanted to stress just how loved her husband was by her, his family, including his other stepson James, his two step grandsons, and by everyone who knew him.
“He was a fantastic grandfather to James’s sons Rhys and Erin,” said Tim.
“He always took them to Duxford to see the planes which Rhys absolutely loved. He was just so lovely. They just sent a letter up to heaven in a balloon to say how much they miss him.”
Mr Antell’s funeral service will be held at St Martin’s Church in Exning at noon on Monday, August 14.