Published: 14:27, 01 May 2009
by Martin Jefferies
The funeral of Ramsgate grammar school pupil Ben Lavender was held on Friday, a fortnight after he died when he fell onto the railway line at Westgate-on-Sea station.
The 17-year-old, who was studying for five A-levels as well as GCSE Italian, was laid to rest at Margate crematorium.
Teachers said Ben, who achieved a remarkable 14 exam passes last summer, was a talented linguist who was destined to study languages at university.
Hundreds of mourners gathered to pay tribute to the popular youngster last week, while schoolfriends at Chatham House, where flags have been flying at half mast, also observed a two minutes silence.
A number of pupils attended Friday’s funeral and some contributed to the service through words and music.
Mick Moody, head of sixth form, said: “Ben was a kind, fun-loving, intelligent, sensitive young man who touched so many lives in such a positive way.”
Jane Bennett, headteacher at Clarendon House, where Ben studied his language courses, added: “Ben was a talented student with great potential who was well-liked by his peers. His presence is very much missed and we offer deepest sympathies to his family and friends.”
British Transport Police said Ben died in a “tragic accident” at around 11.40pm on Friday, April 17, when he fell onto the live third rail and was electrocuted.
The teenager was rescued by an off-duty firefighter who attempted resuscitation. He was taken to the QEQM hospital in Margate but was pronounced dead a short time later.
A book of condolence has been opened in the library at Chatham House and other permanent memorials, including an annual languages award in his honour and the creation of a lavender garden, are being considered.
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