Mourners gather to remember Ashtead man killed in climbing accident
HUNDREDS of mourners gathered at St George's Church in Ashtead to remember an amateur rock climber who was killed in a climbing accident.
Friends and family gathered for the funeral service of Jack Wooding, who died on January 14 after falling 300ft while climbing in the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland.
The Forest Way resident, a qualified solicitor, was not wearing a helmet or any ropes as it was "just a gentle slope", and failed in an attempt to stop his fall with an ice axe.
During Thursday's service, Jack's twin brother George paid tribute to the 29-year-old, calling him a "brave adventurer".
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He said: "It will be impossible to forget Jack. I've never met somebody who reminded me of him at all.
"He refused to conform to standards that were not his own and we admired him for it.
"He lived on the edge and was a bit of a renegade. I remember our parents being called to Therfield School once because loads of magnesium and potassium had gone missing.
"Of course he denied everything, and then that weekend: bang!"
He added: "He was so special. He started reading at age two and would sit on the toilet for ages reading world history books.
"Now he has gone I will try extra hard to place great emphasis on the things he valued and make him as proud as I can.
"I think it will be impossible to forget someone so magnificent. We love and miss you, Jack."
Following the accident on January 13, Mr Wooding's father Eric, mother Margaret, sister Mona and George rushed to his bedside.
Doctors told the family he had suffered "unsurvivable" brain injuries and he died 24 hours later.
A legal advisor for the Department for Transport, Mr Wooding attended The Greville Primary School and Therfield School before graduating from Oxford University with a double first in politics and modern history.
Jack's uncle, Richard Collins, said: "Somewhere, there might be someone who didn't like Jack. That person needs a lot of help. Everyone liked Jack. He was funny, smart, well-spoken and well-read. He was brilliant.
"I don't just mean he was intellectually brilliant, although he was; he was brilliant, because he could light up the room with his smile, his energy, his zest.
"When he fell, it was not only we who suffered a loss; all of Britain lost a future champion."