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1996: Dunblane 'changed me forever'

At 0930 on 13 March 1996 Thomas Hamilton walked into the gym in Dunblane Primary School and began firing at random.

Sixteen children and their teacher were killed in the carnage, which lasted for three minutes.

The disgraced former Scout master, a local man, killed or injured all but one of the class of 29 five and six-year olds, before shooting himself.

The massacre plunged Scotland into mourning and sent shockwaves around the world.

Your memories

I was on the way to a recording studio in Glasgow when we heard the tragic news about Dunblane.

I had an air rifle at my mum's house which made me feel guilty, so I destroyed it.

I was brought up glamorising guns and violence - this changed me forever.
Nick Williams, Scotland

I put my birthday into your search facility. I immediately remembered being in Cardiff on business.

I heard of this event on the radio in my car.

I was staying overnight. I was alone - my children were at home with their mother.

In my bag I had a number of birthday cards from friends.

As I opened these that day I felt anything but jubilant. Reading the paper I was appalled.
Gary Corbett, UK

Yesterday I found myself in Dunblane, a quiet pretty little place.

No-one can imagine the destruction the actions of one person could have had on that tiny community.

I was in the garden of remembrance in the cemetery quietly looking and contemplating.

It was seeing the date of death on each tiny yet serene plot that upset me. I was pregnant with my second child when tragedy struck on this village.

I also had a child of five years old, the same age as the children involved.

I looked at my eldest son and saw what pleasure he brings into my life. It just made me so sad that Dunblane is now missing 16 fine youngsters that would now be 14 or 15 years old.

My heart goes out to each and every one affected by this cruel act.
Jo, Scotland

Coming from the next village down, the massacre was a huge shock. I knew the teacher and the pupils were well known to my friends and family. I dropped everything and came home. The sense of despair was palpable. I'll never forget that day
Rowan Morgan, UK

That evening I casually switched on the BBC news via British Forces TV as usual. The horror of the report just made me cry instantaneously - something that had never happened to me before.

For some while thereafter I was unable to look at our first son, who was also five years old, because he reminded me of the innocence of the victims.
Colin Basham

I remember being just 11-years-old and unable to quite understand why anyone would commit such a horrific crime. I remember our teacher at the time obviously finding out, but opting not to tell us and letting our parents tell us instead. She was just visibly affected by the thought of it.

The mood the next morning in assembly was such an eerie, strange one. There wasn't the usual hustle and bustle: kids talking to each other, playing around and teachers demanding silence.

There was just an atmosphere of shock. There were no kids there, just hundreds of little adults, forced to re-think how safe they actually felt in their classrooms. It was horrible.
Darren Gibb, Australia via Scotland

I arrived at Glasgow airport from a holiday in Boston knowing nothing about what had happened. As soon as I stepped into the terminal I knew something was wrong - the whole place was eerily silent and my dad, who had come to collect me, looked very sombre.
Rob Lightbody, Scotland

On 13 March 1996 my wife was in labour with our first child. The juxtaposition between the arrival of our child and the events in Dunblane was too awful to contemplate so we switched off the radio in the labour room.

The only tape we had with us was Enya's Memories of Trees. I've not been able to listen to it since.
Dave Clark, UK

I was a pupil at the time.

I was in the other class to some of my friends who were in the shooting. All I really remember is that the head teacher came in and we were asked to pack our stuff. Our teacher, Mrs. Macquade, started to cry.

I never really took it in at the time as I was too young, but the next year I did. God bless all who died.
James Mason, Scotland

I was at Newton Primary at the time this happened.

I had two friends that were in the horrible massacre. One survived and one did'nt.

As I was young I didnt know what really happened, the next year I moved to Dunblane Primary because of moving house.

I only later found out about what happened at the school.
Chris, Scotland

I was in the nursery at the primary school at the time.

The first we knew of it was a series of bangs. The headmaster, Mr Taylor, came in and whispered to the teacher. She looked distraught.

We were immediately sent home, and didn't go back for another nine days. I lived over the road from the school, and I remember the street lined with hundreds of flowers.

I was too young to truly understand at the time. But I now know our town will never be the same again. It was the most awful thing that has ever happened here, and will ever happen here.
Andrew Maclean, Scotland


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