James Ballantyne

On Friday 15th of September St Lawrence’s Church Hungerford was full to over-flowing for the funeral and celebration service of the life of James Ballantyne .James lost his life following a tragic accident on July 4th. He was 23.

James’s family and friends paid tribute to an outward-going young man with a lovely and lively personality ;who made and kept friends easily and lived his short life very much to the full.James threw himself enthusiastically into all life had to offer ; he worked hard and knew how and when to play. He had a strong sense of community spirit and was a funny and fun companion to people of all ages. James was diligent and clever ; good natured and generous with his time. He had a penchant for magic tricks, Jalapeno eating , “freakanomics” and inventing games that he usually won because he was the only person who fully understood the rules.

Tributes during the service all made mention of James and his love of fencing.He was a stalwart of Newbury Fencing Club supporting County and Regional events and his mother Catherine Hill was the Secretary of the Bucks, Berks and Oxon County Fencing Union for several years.

Past and present members of BB&O attended the service. Many young fencers now in their late teens remember James with great fondness for the way he looked after them at their first competitions ; his sportsmanship and his unselfish support and encouragement in team events like the Foil Rally or the Fencing Picnic .

As his friend Sam Jones said in tribute, James always put the well-being of others first – right up to the end.

He will be much missed by all who knew him.

In his memory the James Ballantyne Memorial Fund has been set up in support of Young Engineers and donations may be still made via RC Smallbone, Funeral Directors, Starwood House, 37 Pound Street, Newbury RG14 6AE