11:15AM, Friday 10 May 2013
School friends have paid tribute to Ben Danks who was tragically killed in a car accident in South Africa.
The Cookham Dean resident was a talented young architect and traveller and a former Reading Blue Coat School.
He was killed instantly when the car he was travelling in to Durban Airport was hit by a lorry that jumped a red light.
The 25-year-old had been attending his friend's father's wedding in the country.
Fellow pupils who studied at the school in Reading Blue Coat School in Sonning Lane are among those who have paid tribute to Ben on a Facebook memorial page.
On it he is described as 'a man who would always go the extra mile' and an 'absolute gent'.
Former pupil and fellow Reading FC fan Matthew Spooner said: "So many good memories of our friendship. Footy in the park with everyone and travelling the length and breadth of the country watching Reading games with Charlie.
"You will be greatly missed."
Chris Parrot, who travelled with Ben on a school expedition to Mongolia in 2005, added: "I remember Ben being one of those guys who could make friends with everyone. A really genuine, likeable and fun loving person."
Robert Wallis, head of art and design at the secondary school, said Ben possessed a 'fascination in the visual world', adding: "If he was in the room, there would be rigorous work, wit and a great sense of camaraderie – he was the social glue that bonded any group lucky enough to possess him."
The fatal crash was on Sunday, April 21.
A remembrance service will be held for the 25-year-old at St John the Baptist church in Church Road, Cookham Dean on Monday. All who knew Ben are welcome to attend and share their memories.
Ben, who was living at home in Cookham Dean, went to the Noah's Art Pre-School and Cookham Dean Primary School before developing his love of art and design at blue coat in Sonning.
He followed in his father Roger's footsteps after school, studying architecture at Manchester University before joining his father at the architecture firm Danks Badnell in Windsor.
Ben's passion for travelling saw him travel the world with friends, visiting places including Mongolia, Africa and Vietnam, before returning to his much-loved family home in Hockett Lane to plan the next stage of his career.
He is survived by his mother and father, Ann and Roger, and sister Becky.
Leave your tributes to Ben in the box below.
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