Son pays moving tribute to ‘best friend’ dad who died on the Matterhorn

Grace Witherden

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Grace Witherden

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The son of a Maidenhead man who died during a trek of the Matterhorn has paid tribute to his father who ‘never stopped smiling’.

Peter Rumble died along with his best friend Dennis ‘Robbie’ Robinson on the mountain of Mount Cervino in Italy after he went missing on Thursday, August 4.

The 67-year-old grandfather was an ex-Royal Navy officer and had a passion for climbing and skiing.

His son, Andy, who also lives in Maidenhead said: “He was my best friend, we did everything together.

“He was also my friends’ best friend, if we were going out for a meal, we would always invite dad along, and not just because he would offer to pay for us all.

“He loved skiing, climbing and mountaineering but skiing was his number one passion.

“Since I was four, we would go climbing ever year to Dartmouth. We would go at the end of the summer.”

Peter and his friend Dennis, who met when they were both in the Royal Navy, had called the rescue team when the conditions worsened.

Andy said: “He was not ill-prepared; he was one of the most experienced climbers, probably more so than the rescue team.

 “They would have told the rescue team what the situation was and how long they had been there for. They were both ex-Royal Navy officers.

“They probably cuddled up and sat for a few hours discussing how the modern rescue team was compared to the old guys.

“Then they probably made a toast, I don’t think dad ever stopped smiling, he was a really happy guy.”

Peter was born in Aylesbury in 1949 and grew up in Slough. He moved to Maidenhead in the 1980s and married his wife Kay.

He worked at computer engineering company IBM after he left the Royal Navy and volunteered at Stage One Youth and Cox Green Scouts.

Andy said: “He was very selfless, and he would always try and fix things for everyone, even if he had no expertise.

“He worked hard and his retirement was his reward so he could do what he loved. He bought an RV and would visit Dennis; they would go on treks together.

“He died doing what he loved doing, he didn’t want to die an old man sitting in a rocking chair not being able to do what he loved.”

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