Everything We Know About The 10 Britons On The Malaysia Airlines Flight

Here is what we know about the British passengers on flight MH17 so far.

These are the names of the ten British passengers identified as being on board the Malaysia Airlines flight:


John Alder
John Allen
Stephen Anderson
Robert Ayley
Cameron Dalziel
Andrew Hoare
Richard Mayne
Ben Pocock
Liam Sweeney
Glenn Thomas

This is what we know about the ten Britons on the flight who lost their lives.

The 49-year-old was a World Health Organisation spokesperson and a former BBC journalist. He had worked at the WHO’s headquarter in Geneva, Switzerland.

Thomas was heading towards an international HIV conference in Melbourne. It is understood that Thomas has a twin sister, Tracey, who lives in Blackpool.

The World Health Organisation said that Thomas was a “great colleague” who will be missed. Our full report on Thomas can be read here.

John Alder


Alder, of Deckham, Gateshead, was one of the two Newcastle United fans reported to have been on board. The two British citizens were understood to have been travelling to New Zealand to watch Newcastle United’s pre-season tour of the country.

According to a local news report, John Alder had only missed one of the team’s games since 1973, and that was due to a family bereavement. Alder, believed to be in his 60s, was known to fans as “John the undertaker” as he always wore a suit to the game. A friend, Frank Cordes said: “You always knew it was match day as John was dressed in his black suit and white shirt.”

Friends of Alder said that he was a permanent fixture at their football games, and that Newcastle had lost “their number one fan”.

Liam Sweeney


The 28-year-old Newcastle United fan was on board with John Alder, and was also believed to have been travelling to New Zealand to watch Newcastle United’s pre-season tour of the country.

Newcastle United’s manager, Alan Pardew, paid tribute to Alder and Sweeney in a statement on the Newcastle United website.


Myself and all the players are deeply shocked and saddened by this terrible news. We all knew how passionately John and Liam supported the team and the club. They were with us just earlier this week for our first pre-season friendly against Oldham, and their dedication to travel all the way around the world to support us in New Zealand tells you all you need to know about the passion they had for Newcastle United. Our hearts go out to their families and friends.

Richard Mayne

Richard Mayne in April 2014, volunteering for a children’s charity in Nepal. Facebook / Via facebook.com

Richard Mayne was a student at Leeds University and, according to friends commenting on Twitter and Facebook, a maths and finance graduate. He had previously studied at the Dixie Grammar School in Market Bosworth.

According to The Independent, friends have been writing condolences on his Facebook page. One wrote: “Words fail me, why do the worst possible things happen to the nicest most kind caring people. Richard Mayne you re an inspiration and will be much loved forever and always xx”

Another wrote: “Richard was a fantastic, friendly, inspirational and very much loved student at The Dixie, words cannot express my sadness.”

Simon Mayne, the father of Richard Mayne, spoke to the Mirror, saying:


“[Richard] was on his way to Perth. When we were looking at flights together, there was this one that stopped in Amsterdam and we thought it would be perfect.

“He was diabetic so we thought it would be a good chance for him to do whatever he needed to do and maybe even go out and have a ride on the bikes and see Amsterdam. He was really looking forward to it. I took him to the airport at 3am myself, to fly to Amsterdam.

“When I first saw it on the news, my heart dropped. I just thought, oh god, oh god – I couldn’t believe it. We were hoping and praying he had fallen asleep at Amsterdam and missed his flight.

“You think you’ve got problems and them something like this happens and it all just takes over. I can’t even bring myself to look at a photograph of him. We are beyond devastated. It is such a beautiful sunny day but our lives have been torn apart.”

Leeds University issued an official statement:


“We are very saddened to hear the news that one of our students, Richard Mayne, is believed to be a passenger on the flight. Our thoughts are with Richard’s family and friends. Richard had just finished his second year in maths and finance and he was doing well with his studies. Staff are working with the University’s counselling service to help students who are affected by this tragedy and we will do all we can to support them.”

Ben Pocock


Ben Pocock is the fifth British passenger on the plane to be named. Pocock, from Keynsham, Bristol, is believed to have been in his early 20s and studying international business at Loughborough University.

Loughborough University said: “We are incredibly saddened to hear that one of our students, Ben Pocock, was believed to be a passenger on flight MH17.

“Ben was an excellent student and on course to gain a first-class degree. Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Ben’s family and friends, and with all those who have lost family and friends in the crash.”

Pocock was flying out to begin a professional placement and to study abroad at the University of Western Australia as part of his degree’s third year. He tweeted that he had passed his tests and that he would be travelling in 18 hours.

Cameron Dalziel


Dalziel, who was born in Zimbabwe and lived in South Africa, was traveling on a British passport. He was an accomplished rescue helicopter pilot working in Malaysia.

Dalziel grew up in Durban, South Africa and he was heading from Amsterdam back to Kuala Lumpur where he had been working.

Ayley, 27, was a father of two and originally from Guildford. He had written an email the day before the Malaysia Airlines flight saying how he was looking forward to returning home to see his wife and children. In the email, Ayley wrote: “So yes, here we are. Last day in Europe. My flight is at 12 tomorrow. Right now, I’m just looking forward to seeing the boys and Sharlene. It’s been a long, long journey.”

It is reported that Ayley moved from Guildford to New Zealand as a child, but that he still carried a British passport.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Ayley’s family said: “Rob was our everything. We adored him and there was no one else like him. He touched so many hearts and lives. We are grateful to forever have him in our hearts.”

Stephen Anderson


Anderson, 44, attended school in Inverness and served 23 years with the Royal Air Force.

Anderson was a part of the search and rescue team at Lossiemouth in Scotland. Four years ago, he moved to Penang in Malaysia with his wife Joanna and their daughter.

Andrew Hoare


Hoare, 59, was a banker. He was on the flight with his Dutch wife and their two sons Friso and Jasper who were also Dutch citizens. He died alongside his family.

Hoare was originally from Beckington, Somerset. His brother Hugo described Andrew as a “devoted family man.”

It is believed that Hoare’s stepson Rink Schoofs, 24, was not on board the flight and is still in the Netherlands.

John Allen


Lawyer John Allen, 44, was on the flight along with with his Dutch wife Sandra Martens and their three sons Christopher, Julian and Ian. His wife and his children were listed as being Dutch. He also died alongside his family.

The full story on the Malaysia Airlines crash can be read here.

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