Moving tributes paid to Manchester mother and son killed in French avalanche

Just devastating.

The Manc The Manc - 1st January 2024

Touching tributes have been paid to the mother and son who died in an avalanche in France, after they were named as Manchester locals Kate and Archie Vokes.

Kate, 54, and Archie, 22, tragically died when an avalanche swept through an off-piste area of a ski resort near Mont Blanc.

They were found by mountain rescuers around Saint-Gervais on Thursday afternoon.

Kate was a director and Bruntwood and the sister of Bruntwood SciTech chief executive Chris Oglesby.

She was also the chair of the Oglesby Charitable Trust, established by her late father Michael Oglesby, who died in 2019.


Archie meanwhile was a personal trainer working at local Manchester gym Form.

A family spokesperson said: “We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of our beloved, wonderful Kate and Archie.


“Words cannot express how terrible we all feel nor the hole in our lives that has been left by this tragic accident.

“We kindly ask for privacy as we grieve together as a family.”

Kate and Archie Vokes, both from Manchester, who tragically died in an avalanche in France. Credit: Bruntwood
Kate and Archie Vokes, both from Manchester, who tragically died in an avalanche in France. Credit: Bruntwood

Bruntwood, which specialises in commercial spaces right across Greater Manchester, wrote: “We’re heartbroken to share the tragic sudden loss of Kate Vokes & her son Archie.


“As Oglesby Charitable Trust Chair, our Non-Executive Director & sister of our CEO, Kate was loved & respected by so many. We will miss them terribly.

“The family kindly ask for privacy at this time.”

The Royal Exchange theatre shared: “We are absolutely devastated to hear of the death of our Deputy Chair Kate Vokes and her son Archie in such tragic circumstances.

“Kate was our dear friend, colleague and tireless supporter. She was remarkable. Our love and thoughts are with her family at this incredibly sad time.”

The Lowry posted: “We are incredibly sad to hear about the tragic passing of Kate Vokes, and her son Archie. Kate was a passionate supporter of and advocate for the Arts and Cultural sector, and through The Oglesby Charitable Trust supported The Lowry’s work with children and young people.”


Cllr Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to Kate and Archie’s family and friends on their loss.

“Kate Vokes played a significant role in Manchester and was a great champion of many social and cultural causes in our city. She was known for her passion, commitment and energy.

“Kate was someone who believed passionately in the positive social impact that business could have, and exemplified it through her work as chair of the Oglesby Charitable Trust and her involvement with charities helping children and young people in the city.

“She was also known as committed champion of culture in Manchester and across the country, through her work with the Royal Exchange Theatre and the Bruntwood Prize.

“She will be very sadly missed.”

Read more

Featured image: Bruntwood