Mary Berry has ‘never gotten over’ death of son

Mary Berry says she has 'wonderful memories' of her son 19-year-old son William who died in 1989. Picture: Shine TV
Mary Berry says she has 'wonderful memories' of her son 19-year-old son William who died in 1989. Picture: Shine TV
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Mary Berry has recalled the day police told her that her son had been killed in a car accident.

The Great British Bake Off star, 80, said “you never get over it”, but she added that she has “wonderful memories” to treasure.

Berry said she knew what had happened to her 19-year-old son William when the policeman asked her to sit down that day back in 1989 when she was waiting for him and his sister Annabel to return home.

She said: “I was at home, waiting and wondering why William and Annabel were not home for lunch. The doorbell rang and I knew something had happened.

“You open the door and it is a young policeman. He said, ‘Is there somewhere we can sit down?’ I knew what had happened – you do when you are asked to sit down. He told us that William had been killed and that Annabel was in Wycombe ­Hospital.

“We went straight there. The nurses took us down the corridor and gave us a cup of sugary tea. I said, ‘Where’s Annabel?’ I suddenly looked up and there, coming down the corridor, running at a great pace in a pink tracksuit with mud all over her was Annabel. I thought, ‘I’ve still got her.’

“They asked us if we would like to see William. I looked at my husband and said, ‘I think I would.’”

She added: “His little face was perfect. He was serene and I knew exactly...that he was all right.”

Berry said that when William was killed there was no child bereavement charity, but said she was lucky to have supportive friends and family.

She added: “So often when somebody dies in the family, whether a child or a parent, there is no-one to lean on. When something like that happens you go into a shell, but on the other hand it’s a really good thing to talk it over and say how you feel.

“If you could meet someone who is in the same situation as you, which you can through Child Bereavement UK, you feel as though you are not alone. The one thing is not to be silent. You can always help people by getting them to talk to you.

“The worst thing that can happen is when someone says, ‘Oh, you’ll get over it’. Of course, you never get over it.”

She said a charity like Child Bereavement UK could have helped her family if it had existed when her son died.

“They could have helped Annabel,” she said. “Maybe we weren’t as helpful to her as we should have been. You don’t quite know what to do.”

She added: “An awful lot of people are there for the first few weeks, but it is the three months after, the six months after that, and the dropping in that is important.”