The Wokingham Paper

Tributes paid to Wokingham schoolteacher who was a victim of Reading terrorist attack

The Holt School
Floral tributes are being left outside The Holt School in Wokingham in memory of James Furlong Picture: Phil Creighton

TRIBUTES are being paid to James Furlong, the history teacher from a Wokingham school who was one of three people who died in Reading’s Forbury Gardens yesterday. 

Police have arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of terrorism following the incident which took place just before 7pm on Saturday, June 20. 

Mr Furlong worked at The Holt School, and earlier today co-headteachers Anne Kennedy and Katie Pearce said that he was a “very kind and gentle man”. 

They added: “He had a real sense of duty and cared for each and every one of our students.  

“He truly inspired everyone he taught through his passion for his subject and his dedication. 

“He was determined that our students would develop a critical awareness of global issues and in doing so, become active citizens and have a voice.”

Wokingham Town Mayor, Cllr Tony Lack, said that Mr Furlong would be missed by a lot of people. 

“On behalf of everyone at Wokingham Town Council, I would like to express my deepest condolences on the tragic passing of James Furlong following the shocking attacks in Reading yesterday,” he said. 

“He was a talented teacher at the Holt School, Wokingham, and his loss will be felt by so many in our town and community.  

“Our thoughts go out to his family, friends, colleagues and students at this very sad time.”

The sentiment was echoed by Cllr John Halsall, leader of Wokingham Borough Council, who said: “My thoughts are with the families and friends of the three murdered yesterday evening in a series of senseless stabbings in Reading, Forbury Gardens. It is difficult to find words to console in such a dreadful circumstance. It is impossible to understand the motive for such actions. My thanks go to our vital emergency services.”

And there have been tributes across social media. 

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Jade Sirmon

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.

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