Reading terror attack book of condolence: James Furlong

The Reading Chronicle has opened this online book of condolence to bring together tributes to teacher James Furlong.

James Furlong was tragically killed in the knife terror attack in Forbury Gardens on Saturday June 20.

Anyone who would like to pay tribute or offer their condolences is invited to leave a message on this page. Please be respectful and only leave messages that show sensitivity. These are difficult times for the family and the community.

To add your own contribution, click the red ‘Add your contribution now’ button below.

There may be a slight delay in your messages appearing on the page as they must first be approved by the Reading Chronicle staff.

We are saddened to report these news. If you wish to leave a tribute for The Holt School teacher James Furlong, who was named the first victim of the Reading terror attack you can do so here. We welcome kind words and pictures.

Rest Easy mate. Didn’t deserve to die in such a horrendous way. God rest your gentle soul. May the hearts of your beautiful family be consoled.

Jerrie Sambers

A very sad and tragic event. It was a horrendous act and has taken some brilliant people from our community. My deepest condolences with family of Mr James Furlong. May he rest in peace.

Imran Tak

Was a blast talking to you about Rupauls Drag Race everytime a new season was out sir. May your heaven be filled with endless mirth.

contributed by community

For all the good you gave to help and encourage our younger generation to grow, this as an ending with no justice, please know as a town we will stand together to get you the justice you deserve.thinking of your family and young

contributed by community

So sorry this has happened James. You were a great friend and a lovely person. RIP mate.

Neil Jarvis

I know for a fact James wouldn’t want people pushing their agendas as a result of his death. James, a proud gay man, wanted equality for all, was at Reading pride year in year out and was a strong advocate for the BLM movement. It’s awful seeing tweets like this. Rest in peace James.

Hannah Snows

Amazing teacher and an even better person. Not everyone at holt was taught by Mr Furlong but everyone felt his warm presence. I’ll always remember him at the end of each lesson telling us to “not to something he wouldn’t do”. Maybe this is why so many of us are now kind and caring people. He wanted equality for all, regardless of race, sexuality, national origin or gender. He was passionate about history – never the type to just read off a PowerPoint. He was the person who’d dress up on open days, who’d talk in assemblies. But also the type we’d go to with concerns, whether they were about history exams or life. An amazing listener too. I can’t thank Mr Furlong enough for the few years I was taught by him. An amazing influence on our Wokingham community that will never be forgotten. I hope through these messages everyone sees how amazing he was. X

contributed by community

You were and always will be a very special man. R.I.P James

Dene Tonna-Reynolds

I never met James, nor have I been to the Holt School in Wokingham. However, after reading all of the tributes to Mr Furlong online, I have decided to leave my own. He will be missed by his family, friends and his Holt colleagues and pupils. Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Michael Simpson

So very sorry.

Jacqueline McPherson

I’m beyond lost for words, one of the most caring teachers I had the pleasure of being taught by 💔 He always made sure everyone understood and always tried their best, always pushed them to do better and there was never a dull day when being taught by him or even bumping into him in the hallways, or when you were deciding whether to do history for your GCSE’s, there he was proud in some form of costume trying to entice you in😂❤️ he will forever be in our hearts and his memory and laughter will never be forgotten❤️ I’m sending huge amounts of love to his family and friends who have also been hurt with such news❤️

georgie wilson

Mr furlong was such a kind and caring teacher, he always made his pupils laugh and he definitely knew how to teach a lesson. He will be missed dearly.

Krystal Patey

So sorry for your loss x no one deserves to die this way x Condolences to the family and to all who knew him x 💕

Joanne Baker

Our love with family and friends on this such sad news, this horrible place needs a change and fast …my love with all who was injured and Witnessed this horrible horrible Incident

Lisa Brookfield-Steele

RIP thinking of u and your family xxxx

Kelly Winter

I am heartbroken. It’s so scary how you can be here one minute and the next you’re gone. Sir, you inspired so many of us to do our best and be proud of who we are. You had such a passion for you’re subject. You didn’t only positively impact me but everyone you taught. You’ll be missed so much ❤️

Liberty Fletcher

I didn’t know you, but am so sad at your senseless death. You sound like an amazing, inspirational teacher. RIP

contributed by community

My thoughts and condolences go out to Mr Furlongs friends and family 💔 Words can not describe how shocked I am to have discovered one of my old favourite history teachers had been involved in this horrific incident. You were always so cheerful on the dullest of days and such an amazing teacher. In the two years you taught me you taught me to never give up and to always find passion in what you love. And your passion was history. May you rest in paradise 💔

Courtney Harris

Mr Furlong was an amazing man. Not only this but an inspirational, talented, dedicated, trustworthy and caring teacher. Having known him personally, lessons were always fun and enjoyable. All my heart goes out to all his friends, family, past students and current students❤️

Emily Fagan-Rapley

I was a student at The Holt from 2012-2017. Mr Furlong was a funny and kind teacher. As Head of History, and as my History teacher in Year 8, he always made History fun and entertaining. History was always one of my favourite subjects and Mr Furlong always encouraged it.

Jade Sirmon

He was an incredibly accepting man. He was open about his sexuality as a gay man and made it ok for more of us to be as well. He will be dearly missed.

contributed by community

Much saddened to hear the tragic loss of Mr Furlong and others due to a senseless killing spree by a psychopath. Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with victims and their families. Let’s support each other in solidarity at this time of need

Mohamed Lukman Harees

So sorry your life was taken so soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends, and all the many lives you touched. May God grant you rest.

contributed by community

Reading Chronicle