A delightful, kind and engaging person. David was larger than life, fiercely loyal and understood what was really important in life.
David was born on 4th October 1964, one of 3 children born to Rae and Conrad Festing, with Ginny being the oldest and Claire the youngest. Raised in Hampstead, London, with a stint in Karachi, Pakistan, his childhood was one of playing outside all day with his friends, having adventures and only returning for supper.
He was mainly educated at UCS in Hampstead, which he greatly enjoyed, especially on the rugby pitch for his school. This passion for rugby never, ever left him and he played for Rye and 3 QUEENS.
On leaving school, David gained an HND in engineering. A wise career choice, as he loved all things mechanical and could tinker under a bonnet, beneath a car for not just hours, but days. His first ever car was an aubergine Mini Cooper, he named her Fifi. His friends would happily pile into it and go off with him to whatever event or match was happening.
He was happiest dismantling vehicles, taking engines apart and putting it all back together. Often one would find these same parts strewn across a floor, upon a kitchen table or just blocking a hallway.
David joined 5th Battalion, The Queen’s Regiment (5 QUEENS) in 1984, with the TA Centre in Hastings becoming a key part of his life. He commissioned in 1987 and in 1989 did an S Type with 3 QUEENS going to Northern Ireland and Cyprus. David returned to 5 QUEENS in 1991 and then served with 5PWRR and 3PWRR. David served as infantry platoon commander, anti-tank platoon commander, operations officer and company commander. He loved soldiering, excelled as a leader and was respected and genuinely popular with all. As a character he drove and enriched any event or gathering and made everything memorable.
His civilian career saw him back in engineering, broking, running his own small business and working for Kent Police, yet it was always the Army, his colleagues and the Regiment that inspired him. He was introduced to his future wife, Karen, by a friend at a regimental dinner and his younger sister married a fellow officer (who is eternally grateful).
Karen and David married in Rye in 2000 and had many happy adventures, particularly sailing their Fireball in France, Barbados and Italy or visiting friends in Nepal or elsewhere. The renovated their dream house and were the ideal love match.
After his heart attack, David’s health started to deteriorate. He still loved socialising, working on his cars and visiting his family and friends but it had taken a toll.
This delightful, kind, engaging man passed away suddenly on 8th January. He was a larger-than-life character, fiercely loyal, one who truly understood what was important in life. He will be greatly missed by more people than he ever would have imagined and was the best of friends to so many.
- £50.00 Tommo
- £25.00 Clive and Angela Nye
- Steve & Varley Taylor
- £20.00 Sam
I had the privilege of working with David at the Larkfield Testing Centre. His enthusiasm for work was immense. Remembered with fondness