Big turn-out for funeral of Rushden fireman

The procession, led by Eddie's former fire engine, into Kettering Crematorium.
The procession, led by Eddie's former fire engine, into Kettering Crematorium.

The funeral of a popular former fireman from Rushden took place yesterday with his old fire engine leading the procession.

Eddie Hitcham died on November 18 after a four-year battle with motor neurone disease.

He served as a fireman at Rushden Fire Station for 25 years and chose the name for the road where the new station is situated, in Foskett Close.

And his son Stuart says he wanted to give him the send-off he deserves.

He said: “My father was a much respected member of the community and a very popular and highly respected fireman.

“He was a truly wonderful dad who is missed so much by myself, my sister, my brother and also my mum who has been by his side for 58 years.

“Dad was in attendance at Bedford Way Motors in Rushden when it caught fire in the 1970s and also took an old engine along to Rushden’s carnival.

“He was given a full fire brigade funeral and even after leaving the service 20 years ago Rushden fire station offered this as a sign of respect for his excellent service.

“There was a guard of honour, plus a standard bearer and a fire brigade drape, and his old fire engine led the way to Kettering Crematorium.

“Throughout dad’s four-year battle with MND he has truly amazed us all with the way he faced each day with a smile and the way he filled the room with laughter and love.”

Eddie’s final journey left St Mary’s Avenue in Rushden at 1pm yesterday, Wednesday, December 2, before heading to Kettering Crematorium for a 2.15pm service.