Preston family's bid for permanent memorial to British Army hero son 10 years on from tragic death

James with his girlfriend
-Credit: (Image: GoFundMe)

The brother of an Army captain who was tragically killed in a dual carriageway crash has unveiled plans to install a permanent memorial.

Captain James Feeney died on May 15 in 2015 as he attempted to cross the road on his way home to barracks in Kent following a night out. James' brother Aaron, from Preston, now hopes to install a memorial bench at his brother's grave.

Aaron described how James had "always been destined for the Army", having been born in an army barracks in Aldershot in 1987. After the family returned home from being stationed in Germany they relocated to Preston.

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James, a keen football player, joined Blackpool and Accrington Stanley in his late teens and, after completing a course at Glasgow University, he was offered a place at the prestigious Sandhurst and eventually joined the Royal Welsh regiment as Captain.

After two tours in the Middle East James returned home for some R&R but after a night out in Kent near his barracks James attempted to cross a dual carriageway when he was hit by a van and died from his injuries aged 28.

Aaron is now hoping to have a memorial bench placed by James' grave. "It’s been a tough journey, but everyone has made it through and now with the 10-year anniversary coming next year, I thought it would be poignant to remember and allow others to remember with a memorial bench at the graveside," he said.

After James' death friends and family paid tribute to "one of the most intelligent, courageous and loyal people you could ever meet".

Friend Jack Barron said: "I've shed many a tear, some through sadness, some through happiness as I keep remembering things about him, looking at old photos and remembering that distinctive Feeney laugh. We can't mope about forever though, that's definitely not what we would have wanted, but we can make sure that we honour his memory.

“As much as he was always the joker, the ladies man (when he was younger) and one of the most engaging characters you could meet, he was also one of the most intelligent, courageous and loyal, and we were all very proud of what he has achieved professionally and personally.

“He loved his family, friends and girlfriend very much, that was shown in his actions, and we all love him. In fact everyone he met loved him and his infectious personality. He's not just someone I liked, he was someone I genuinely loved and the future doesn't seem quite as fun without him there.”