Tributes to war hero who served on D-day
MILITARY flags were raised in respect at the funeral yesterday of a brave man who fought on the beaches on the D-day landings.
Second World War veteran Victor Howard died aged 88 on May 6 after a long illness.
The funeral for the former Royal Engineer was held yesterday at St Paul’s Church, in Millfield, where he was married to Kathleen in 1951.
His coffin was draped with a Union Flag on which was his beret, a poppy wreath and flowers.
The cortege was led to the church and then the crematorium by the standard-bearing members of the Royal Engineer Association Peterborough branch who were joined by other standard bearers.
The service was led by the Reverend Ron Watkinson and started with the hymn Amazing Grace.
A psalm was read followed by a poem, which had been sent to Victor’s daughter Anne shortly after his death.
The Rev Watkinson then led tributes to Victor in a eulogy paying particular attention to his war service.
honour: Standards were raised in memory of Victor Howard who died in May. PICTURE: ROWLAND HOBSON
He said: “It impacted his life for the rest of his days. He would have seen some things that you couldn’t imagine.
“I’m told he kept a small pocket Bible in his breast pocket. After surviving D-day he found a piece of shrapnel embedded in that pocket Bible. His faith in God had probably saved his life.”
The Rev Watkinson went on to tell the assembled congregation about his life, working at Perkins Engines and bringing up two children. He became an active part in the Royal British Legion and the Royal Engineer Association Peterborough branch and was invited to the Buckingham Palace several times.
Even when he was suffering ill health, Victor laid a wreath at the Remembrance Day parade last year.
After the eulogy there were prayers and another reading from the Gospel according to St John followed by The Lord’s My Shepherd.
After the funeral the cortege made its way to Peterborough Crematorium, in Marholm, where more standards were raised in his honour and the Last Post was sounded. A wake was held at Burton Street Bowls Club.
Donations were made in his memory to the Royal Engineers Association Peterborough branch.