Tribute (Robert Addison, July 1981 – July 2017)

A tribute to Robert ‘Bobby’ Addison, as read out at his service today.

It would be… incongruous to stand here and tell you all what an angelic life Bobby led. He was almost as well known by the local police as he was by us here today.

But, despite his misdemeanours and mistakes, it is no exaggeration to say that my brother had a huge impact on so many people’s lives, not least my own.

From my first days at school Bobby had my back. He, with our eldest brother Ian (RIP), dealt with a particularly annoying bully in ways that only an older brother can. He also took the piss in ways only an older brother can: with a delightful range of nicknames for me, all with a story… none of which I’m prepared to repeat to you now – I’ve enjoyed the reprieve since he left home.

When he wasn’t taking the mick, Bobby liked to get up to mischief. I remember one Christmas – I would have been around 7 years old – he showed me the present stash he’d discovered hidden behind a hole in the lining of mum & dad’s divan bed. I also remember the sweets and crisps he nicked from the shop where he and Ian did a paper round, but we probably shouldn’t talk about that.

Bobby bought me my first ever Terry Pratchett novel, inspiring a love for an author which endures both Pratchett’s death and Bobby’s – a love I’m sharing with my two children, thus influencing their little lives.

Bobby was unfailingly irresponsible with his life at times, ignoring danger and risk to tackle pursuits like climbing onto the rooves of high buildings, riding motorbikes at ridiculous speeds with barely any protection and, in one instance, using a rope swing over a drop at The Wrekin which seemed as deep as the Grand Canyon to me at the time.

I mention these things not to glorify his pastimes, but because he encouraged me to do the same; to take risks, to try things, to be BRAVE. He was one of very few people in my life who didn’t stop me doing things because I’m a girl. He thought that if he could do it, I could too.

While his encouragement didn’t inspire me to chuck myself around on motorbikes or throw myself over drops the size of the Grand Canyon, it did inspire me to explore other “boy” things like video games and computing. It gave me the confidence in my abilities to forge a career in a male dominated industry – a career which has shaped my life, allowing me to run a successful business despite the doubters and “but you’re a girl” naysayers.

Finally, Bobby taught me one of the most important lessons of my life: he taught me forgiveness. He taught me that a person’s worth is not the sum of their mistakes, and that despite everything life throws at you, there is always good in everyone.

Terry Pratchett once wrote “no one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away”. I like to think that the ripples Bobby caused will outlive us all.


  1. This is beautiful, Jem.

  2. It’s a beautiful tribute, Jem. Really well written. <3

  3. Such a wonderful tribute. I’m so sorry for your loss. X

  4. Beautifully written. Much love.

  5. So sorry for your loss Jem, this is written so beautifully and just shows your bond so much xx

  6. Beautiful written. I’m so sorry for your loss.
    Keep your head up kid!

  7. I’m so sorry for your loss and that you have to deal with this. You wrote a wonderful tribute for your brother. I wish you the absolute best in the future.

  8. Tristan (Tidge)

    25 Sep at 11:17 am

    I went to school and cadets with Bobby, and rented a room off him in spout way, he was a deeply troubled soul, but deep down he was a good man.
    It’s such a shame that his demons got the better of him.
    RIP Bobby.

  9. Beautifully said and sorry for your loss Jem, Bobby was a good friend of mine i beat myself that i’d distanced myself from him the year before he passed and couldnt of helped him, bobby taught me so much about life and how not too take crap off people, we had some really good times and ill miss him dearly, i will never forget him, he was such a kind and clever man and we shared alot of happy times, sorry for your loss.

  10. Michael/jimmy

    02 Jun at 3:08 am

    I was a good friend of bobs would like too know where his grave is so I can still go spend some time with him please get in touch if you see this my phone number is +447494399746