Posts Tagged ‘funeral’

Hundreds turn out for funeral of WWII veteran who had no known relatives

December 16th, 2015

• Elderly neighbours discover they both took part in the same WW2 mission

Royal British Legion standard bearers march ahead of the hearse

War veterans acted as standard bearers and led the funeral procession with the coffin of Mr. Cox draped in a Union flag.

Serving Army officers also joined the moving ceremony in Middlesborough, Teeside.

Around two hundred people from all walks of life attended the funeral service

Other mourners included police officers and ambulance workers and members of the Royal British Legion Bikers turned out.

“Rest easy soldier, your duty’s done. Goodnight and God bless.”

They all answered the call of the Royal Pioneer Corps Association who posted an appeal on the Facebook page asking for people to attend.

It was shared to veteran groups, army-related groups and other local groups in the North East and in 12 hours it was seen by over 100,000 people.

Mourners attend the funeral

Local florist Beckie McLinn saw the plea and created a 3ft coffin top arrangement for Mr Cox, who lived alone in Stockton, Co Durham.

Others laid wreaths and red flowers to mark the veteran’s war service with moving tributes attached.

• Guy Martin: my grandfather fought for the Nazis

One read: “RIP brave soldier, gone but never forgotten” and another said: “Rest easy soldier, your duty’s done. Goodnight and God bless.”

Floral tributes and messages are left at the funeral service

One bunch of red flowers said: “Rest in peace brother.”

Norman Brown, who launched the appeal for mourners, said: “He had one hell of a send-off.”


World War Two

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Appeal for public to attend World War Two veteran’s funeral

December 7th, 2015

Eric Gill died aged 99 at his home in Edlington, Doncaster, on November 30, and his carer and friend Gwen has launched a Facebook appeal for members of the public to attend his funeral.

Mr Gill was part of the 49th West Riding Infantry and was one of six D-Day veterans from Yorkshire to receive France’s highest military honour, Legion d’Honneur, in April.

The award was given to all surviving British veterans of the 1944 Normandy landings for their efforts in the liberation of France.

“Eric served in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry … he took part in the D-Day and Operation Market Garden and was recently awarded the Légion d’honneur by the French,” says the Facebook appeal.

“Eric only had a small circle of friends and family, some of which are unable to attend his funeral, either due to illness or location.

a great man always talked about his medals and the royal family on the 15 bus when he used to get on, i was thinking…

Posted by Darren Paul Sables on  Monday, 7 December 2015

What a gentleman, will miss all the stories from you, RIP eric,,xx

Posted by Anne Mccormick-green on  Monday, 7 December 2015

“We call upon the entire nation to consider attending his funeral in Doncaster.

“Let us show the world how much respect we have for Eric and the men who helped keep this great nation of ours free!”

His funeral will take place at the Rosehill Crematorium in Doncaster but a date has yet to be set.


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Heartwarming moment hundreds turn out for funeral of veteran following Facebook appeal

November 10th, 2015

Nephew Tony Budgett, 51, from Stockport, feared there would only be four mourners at Mr Bryan’s funeral.

• Kind woman pays for veteran’s breakfast on Remembrance Sunday – and then a stranger covers the entire bill

But after a Facebook appeal to honour his uncle’s passing, hundreds turned out for the funeral at Stockport Crematorium today.

Old soldiers, their polished campaign medals worn proudly on their blazers, acted as standard bearers, joined by serving forces personnel and ordinary members of the public as each paid their respects, heads bowed as a bugler played the Last Post at the end of the moving service.

Hundreds turned out for the funeral following a Facebook appeal (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Mr Bryan’s surviving family have said they were “humbled” by the turnout after around 400 people crammed the chapel and crematorium.

A fire engine was present, with a poppy on its front and firemen and police officers acted as pallbearers.

Mr Bryan’s funeral is the latest in a number of services for old soldiers with little family left which has been attended by hundreds of members of the public to show their respect for veterans following online appeals.


World War Two

Churchill’s state funeral recreated 50 years on

February 1st, 2015

The Havengore, which bore Churchill’s coffin, on the Thames (Image: Stephen Lock)

Havengore, the Port of London Authority’s flagship vessel from 1956 until the early 1990s, slipped her moorings from HMS President at St Katherine Docks at midday. On the quayside The Royal Hospital School Band played Rule Britannia. On board, the passengers were accompanied by the Queen’s Watermen, splendid in their ceremonial tunics, flashing scarlet against the murky water.

As she turned to sail upstream, pipers playing on her bows, Tower Bridge slowly opened to welcome her through.

Memorial flotilla passes under Tower Bridge (Geoff Pugh/The Telegraph)

Among those watching from the embankment was Gordon Roy, a 69-year-old Royal Navy veteran who was on duty that day in 1965. “I had been injured in an accident on the submarines,” he recalls, “and was still recovering in hospital. But they decided they needed some more bodies so they told me to get my best uniform and come down to stand on duty.”

He took his place near St Paul’s Cathedral, immaculate in his uniform of silk lanyard, white garters and belt. “I will remember it for ever,” he said. “It was the look on people’s faces – everybody was just spellbound.”

Roy says he felt compelled to come again yesterday. “I have to see the boss off again, don’t I,” he said smiling.

Ivor Edwards, a 71-year-old former corporal in the Royal Signals, was another veteran present yesterday and happy to share his memories. “In 1965 I was in Cyprus with the UN peacekeeping force,” he says. “I never got the chance to come then. We couldn’t even watch it on TV. That’s why I’m here today.’’ Edwards was one of many in the crowd to speak warmly of the former prime minister. “Churchill was the right man for the right time,” he said.

But how times have changed. The Havengore is still in pristine condition yet the banks of the Thames are now unrecognisable. London’s great docks are long gone and the work of the few cranes along the river remaining is restricted to the latest generation of steel and chrome skyscrapers. And that work continued as the small flotilla sailed past.

The cortege at the state funeral of Sir Winston Churchill makes its way down Whitehall, London, 30th January 1965

As Havengore neared HMS Belfast, a four-gun salute rang out in tribute. Further upstream at Victoria Embankment, the Grimsby sloop HQS Wellington exchanged salutes with the smaller vessel.

Every bridge along the route was thronged with people, tourists brandishing “selfie-sticks”, office workers on their lunch breaks and of course those who had come specially to pay their respects. But crowds were thickest on Westminster Bridge where Havengore bobbed to a final halt on a stretch of river opposite the Palace of Westminster.

As the clouds darkened and raindrops spat down, prayers were said and the national anthem played on board. Then, just beyond the stroke of 1.30pm from Big Ben, Last Post sounded across the water, and a green wreath – embossed with a golden V for Victory created for the occasion at the Royal British Legion Poppy Factory in Richmond – was gently dropped overboard by Colonel Anthony Mather, who led the pall bearers at the funeral, and Barry de Morgan, former adjutant of the Queen’s Royal Hussars who escorted the coffin. It was carried swiftly away by the swirling currents.

Sir Winston Churchill, cigar in mouth, gives his famous ‘V’ for victory sign

The voyage was just one event among several on this day of commemoration, which had begun with a service in the House of Parliament and concluded yesterday evening at Westminster Abbey.

Prime Minister David Cameron was one of the first to lay a wreath at the feet of the Churchill’s statue in the Members Lobby, paying tribute to a “great leader and a great Briton”.

The archway over which the statue stands sentinel, was rebuilt out of shattered stone on Churchill’s personal command after its destruction during the Blitz. Mr Cameron urged Britons to continue to draw on such “courage and resolve” to battle the affronts to freedom we face today.

He spoke in the shadow of the hulking broze monument: Churchill, hands on his hips, the scowling leader still inspiring the nation he saved.


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