Reading remembers two years after attacks in Forbury Gardens

Reading will come together next Monday to remember the innocent victims who lost their lives and those injured at Forbury Gardens on 20 June 2020.

Two years to the day after the horrific events, the town will remember James Furlong, Joe Ritchie-Bennett and David Wails.

A Memorial Service for family, friends and invited guests will take place at St Laurence’s Church at 6pm. At the end of the service attendees will make their way to Forbury Gardens where a  minute’s silence will be held at 7pm, alongside a flower laying ceremony led by families and friends, alongside Mayor of Reading, Councillor Rachel Eden, and Reading Borough Council Leader, Councillor Jason Brock.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the public ceremony in Forbury Gardens and are welcome to bring their own flowers to lay as part of the ceremony, which will also be livestreamed on the Council’s Facebook page.

At 9.45pm, Reading’s historic Maiwand Lion – which quickly became a symbol of the town’s solidarity in the days and weeks which followed the attacks - will be again poignantly lit up, in memory of James, Joe and David, and everybody affected.

Council Leader Jason Brock said:

“Two years have passed since the horrific events at the Forbury Gardens, but for many of us in the town it still feels much more recent and the magnitude of that summer evening is still at the forefront of our minds.

“Next week is an opportunity for everybody in Reading to remember James, Joe and David, and all of those injured, in the Forbury Gardens two years ago. Whether you choose to do this in person at the minute’s silence in the Gardens or in your own private way, the anniversary offers the town another chance to come together in solidarity, just as it did so magnificently in the days and weeks which followed the attacks.

“My thoughts, and the thoughts of everybody in Reading, will always remain with the families and close friends who so needlessly loved lost ones that day, as well as all those injured or affected.”

We continue to work with the families of James, Joe and David and the local community on designs for a permanent memorial and hopes to be in a position to announce more details in the weeks to come.

We continue to encourage people to contribute to the #ReadingTogether fund. Contributions will go towards the permanent memorial.