Pete Newbon portrait

A Tribute To Pete Newbon

Pete Newbon has been described as a “hidden saint” and his tragic death impacted many people. Please submit your tribute below, for posting on this page. You can contribute to his crowdfunder here.

Pete Newbon portrait

A Tribute To Pete Newbon

Pete Newbon has been described as a “hidden saint” and his tragic death impacted many people. Please submit your tribute below, for posting on this page. You can contribute to his crowdfunder here.

- Posted by Alex Hearn

How did you know Pete?

LAAS

Pete was a gentle kind soul who was never rude, egotistical or patronising despite his intellect. He used his sharp wit to poke fun at racists who attacked that part of his identity. He doted on his children who were the centre of his world, always posting pictures of them. Pete was loving father and husband to his family, and a “hidden saint” for his community who appeared in our time of need. He was immensely popular and is sorely missed.

- Posted by Mina Kupfermann

I met Pete on social media four years ago through our shared passion for combating antisemitism. He was someone who measured his words very carefully, and this combined with his amiable nature and clever humour was like a breath of fresh air amid all the different voices. He never needed to shout to be heard - he knew when to speak and when to listen. We became friends through that process of osmosis that begins with shared values. My cats were a source of great amusement to him, and as was his wont for the things he was fond of, he loved to poke fun at them. His sense of humour was what carried him through thick and thin, along with his devotion to his wife Rachel and daughters – the adored subject of many of his wickedly funny posts. I looked forward to his excerpts of their hilarious conversations, in which he would provide a glimpse of their wonderfully unique minds and personalities. These were life’s precious moments for him. He bought one of my art prints for Rachel for their wedding anniversary that said it all about his passion for her. At heart he was deeply romantic. I asked him once if he had a brother and he replied “sadly, there is only one of me”. How right he was. He was a man of great depth and breadth of learning, but he was very humble about it all. His maturity belied his age, and his gentleness belied his strength. He was someone I counted as a good friend – he had invited me to stay at his home and I am so sad not to have had the chance to share time with him and the family. He was a rare soul, and I will miss him deeply.

- Posted by Euan Philipps

Pete was a great guy who was extraordinarily witty and just a huge pleasure to be friends with. His support for LAAS was really important and his personal support of me was incredibly kind. It’s been very hard coming to terms with the fact he won’t be around anymore.

- Posted by Heidi Bachram

How did you know Pete?

LAAS

I met Pete Newbon in the fight against antisemitism. He was at the centre of things, the heart. Whip smart and sharply witty. Always with humanity, never cruelty. Always in defence of what was right. His passion and soul shined through all he did and said. Pete was clear in his principles when it was needed most and warm in his affection for those by his side. It was a powerful and beautiful combination. His absolute adoration of his wife and children was as bright as the sun. I will miss him. The hole left is vast and deep. Pete Newbon changed the world and we are all better for knowing him.

- Posted by Den

How did you know Pete?

Social Media

I missed him when he was hounded off Twitter via a vexatious mob, I'll miss him even more now. He was a source of inspiration in the fight against antisemitism. I didn't know him personally but loved him like a brother. Love to Rachel and the girls. I truly hope they know how much he was loved and can take a crumb of comfort from that. “Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”

- Posted by Kristoff Sorrenson

How did you know Pete?

Social media

May I first offer my sincere condolences to Rachel and her three children. I got to know Pete after the incident last year, via Twitter. I spoke to him and found him to be a man of fantastic humour, sharing an interest in Victorian history. He was a very funny man with a wicked sense of humour, who will be greatly missed. May his memory be a blessing.

- Posted by Jonathan Glass

How did you know Pete?

Initially through social media

It takes a very special person to make friends in the virtual world and yet reading tribute after tribute to Pete, it was clear how many lives he had touched without even meeting those people. These weren’t just people who read his words on twitter or Facebook and chuckled along. He made direct contact with so many people, sending them links and articles and ideas and suggestions, always with a smile on his face. I was one of those people. What started as a social media friendship led to contact in the real world via phonecalls, texts, Facebook messages and emails. For months now, I had been telling my wife (Caroline) how much I wanted us to meet Pete. I knew how much she would like Pete for his intellect, his humour and his gentle nature. Our eldest son is now studying at Durham and whilst Pete and I discussed the two of us meeting when he came down to London, I was hoping to visit Pete and Rachel on one of our visits to our son. And now I will never get to give him a hug, share a drink, discuss the world face to face. This upsets me deeply. I can’t claim to know Pete very well but I had a very firm impression of him. He was a gentle man as well as being a gentleman. He was devoid of arrogance, of pomposity, of intellectual superiority despite being extremely intelligent and knowledgeable in so many areas. Those of us who followed him on twitter or on his own personal Facebook page, appreciated his gentle wit, his use of humour, to both enliven our day and as a tool against racists. His love for his family drove him every day; the proof was how many photos each week he posted of his family and the pride he showed in his family’s achievements. He clearly loved his work and it seemed to encapsulate his personality. For surely only a gentle and romantic soul could become a lecturer in Victorian and Romantic literature? There is much that all of us can learn from Pete, both from how he conducted himself day to day and also from the tragedy of his death. My lesson is a stark one - put yourself more firmly in the shoes of others. People have different levels of resilience, different coping mechanisms, different personalities which means that they might look at the world differently to how I would look at it and respond to it. I now look back with a sense of disappointment, sadness and regret for not realising from my communication with Pete that his gentle character led to a genuine fear of certain situations that, at the time, I found quite baffling whilst also being endearing, because it was Pete. I will try not to make this mistake again. Pete, your greatest legacy is shown by the response to your death. Please god when I go, I receive 10% of the compliments you have received and 10% of the genuine outpouring of love that you have rightfully received. You were a mensch and I will miss you very much.

- Posted by Gillian Lazarus

How did you know Pete?

Through Twitter and Facebook

Pete and I got into a conversation on Twitter connected with the subject he taught - I think it was William Blake, specifically. Then I saw he was critical of antisemitism which seemed to be taking hold of the Labour Party at that time, and felt affinity, solidarity, sympathy. We had mutual friends on Facebook. When he had the trouble which caused him to leave Twitter and meant he had to fight for his job, I sent what I hoped were supportive messages from time to time. He always responded with the little heart sign and I felt so warmly towards him, that, in the midst of his troubles, he was so appreciative and kind. After he left Twitter, I was in a chat group which called itself the Pete Newbon appreciation group. I'm so sad for his wife Rachel and three little girls, and I wish Pete could read all the comments from the very many people who cared for him.

- Posted by Kat Dearden

My partner Gary and I only knew Pete online through his work with LAAS, but he became someone we really considered as far more than just an online presence. He was a kind, funny, lovely, clever man, who seemed to be able to magically know what people were interested in and always find something that they would appreciate. It was a happy morning when I woke up to discover some fresh little joy in my inbox that felt tailored just for me. And it turns out I was far from alone. Pete did that for loads of people. That’s just special, he paid attention to people, to their interests, to what would make them laugh, and what would bring them joy. That shouldn’t be rare, but it is. Pete’s love for his family was so clear, and so open. The joy he took in his girls was an absolute pleasure to see, and we would like to offer them and his wife Rachael, our most sincere and deepest sympathies on the most unbearable loss. I’m going to miss chatting to him, about literature, archaeology, ghost stories, and Our Great Lord Cthulhu and who he should eat first come the glorious day, but most of all I shall miss him.

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