9/11 anniversary: Northampton victim's dad recalls day the world changed in moving BBC documentary

Geoff Campbell was inside World Trade Centre when the planes hit

By Kevin Nicholls
Friday, 10th September 2021, 1:49 pm
Updated Friday, 10th September 2021, 1:52 pm
Geoff Campbell was one of 2,977 killed in the 9/11 
terror attacks
Geoff Campbell was one of 2,977 killed in the 9/11 terror attacks

The father of a Northampton man killed on 9/11 will mark Saturday's 20th anniversary of the terror attacks in his own unique way.

Geoff Campbell, 31, was high up inside the World Trade Center in New York when it was struck by a hijacked plane on September 11, 2001.

Geoff, from Great Billing, was living in New York in 2001 with his fiancée, Caroline, and working as a consultant for the news agency Reuters.

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The Chron's front page tells the shocking story of 9/11

Memorials across the world will tomorrow (Saturday) remember all those killed in the atrocities, carried out by a group of al Qaeda fanatics.

But Malcolm Campbell plans to spend the time in the same secluded area of Snowdownia where he has marked each 9/11 anniversary — the one where he first learned of the horrors on the other side of the Atlantic.

He told the BBC: "I was in the Welsh mountains when attack happened.

"We had got to summit and had a text message on my mobile from my youngest son Robert, who was in London, saying something serious had happened and he was worried.

Geoff's dad Malcolm Campbell

"All I knew was that Geoff had been invited to an event in the Windows on the World restaurant.

"That was just under the impact of the plane in the North Tower. He may have been killed outright he may have been severely injured, but everybody sees it as the point where he was killed.

"When the first anniversary came round it seemed perfectly natural to go back to the area where I was on that day in the Rhinogs. I've been back every year since. It's absolutely remote and I don't see anybody at all.

"I just like to remember what happened and remember Geoff quietly by myself."

Nearly 3,000 people — including 67 Britons — died when 19 al Qaeda terrorists crashed hijacked flights into the New York’s Twin Towers, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.

Many, then and since, have called it the day the world changed.

Geoff's family had to wait months for conformation he died in New York after his DNA was identified on a fragment of collar bone.

Experts are still working to identify more than a thousand of the victims.

Malcolm, a retired architect who lives in Walgrave, and Geoff's older brother Matt both feature in a moving BBC documentary Surviving 9/11 screened this week as part of the 20th anniversary.

Filmmaker Arthur Cary tells the stories of 13 people whose lives were forever changed by switching between between 2001 and the present day.

Malcolm added: "Obviously we had lots of events during the first year afterwards. But I'd much rather be on my own.

"I find it means more to be to be here, it's a beautiful place to be and it's one time of the year I can concentrate of Geoff, think deeply about Geoff, be upset if I want to be.

"I certainly miss what he would have been now and what he would have achieved."

Surviving 9/11 is available on the BBC iPlayer