Can­non fire is a fit­ting send off for ri­fle club stal­wart

Surrey Advertiser - - Front Page -

A WELL-LOVED man from Sun­bury was given a rather un­usual send off when his ashes were fired out of a can­non.

John Withe­combe, 71, died on Satur­day May 6 af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with prostate can­cer in 2008.

He told his loved ones that he wanted his ashes to be scat­tered at the Wey­bridge Ri­fle and Pis­tol Club, of which he was a mem­ber.

Af­ter his death, pres­i­dent of the club, Keith Wat­son, sug­gested to John’s wi­dow Carol that the club could go one step fur­ther and fire his ashes out of a can­non.

He spoke to the Sur­rey Ad­ver­tiser about his friend and the cel­e­bra­tion of his life held on Sun­day (Septem­ber 10). He said: “I have known John for seven or eight years, we were very close friends.

“He was a very in­ter­est­ing man and was well-loved – he had lots of friends.

“He loved his life and he loved the club so ev­ery­one was re­ally happy with how the day went.

“Eleven shots were fired and we saw that peo­ple in the area were a lit­tle wor­ried on so­cial me­dia.

“We de­cided to share what we had done for John on­line and ev­ery­one has been very sup­port­ive say­ing what a nice idea it was.”

John moved to Sun­bury from the Dork­ing area and worked as a ra­di­a­tor en­gi­neer in Twick­en­ham.

Carol was the last per­son to fire the can­non dur­ing Sun­day’s send off.

She said: “It was such a fit­ting end to John’s life.

“The club was his ab­so­lutely favourite place to be, he had to give up his other hob­bies as he got weaker but he could still drive and said he would be happy if he could still go to the club.

“It was the ca­ma­raderie that he found there that made the dif­fer­ence. John would have been ab­so­lutely amazed with what we did for him - I just wish he could have been there to see it!”

John Withe­combe’s wi­dow Carol fires the can­non to scat­ters his ashes at Wey­bridge Ri­fle and Pis­tol Club

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