Standards raised in honour of popular member of Finedon & Irthlingborough’s RBL

The funeral for Brian Walker was held today
The funeral for Brian Walker was held today

Standards from around the county were raised in recognition of the life and service of a loyal member of the Royal British Legion.

Brian Walker spent more than 20 years involved in all aspects of the Legion’s work throughout Northamptonshire.

His roles included being chairman and treasurer of Finedon, Irthlingborough and District RBL, Poppy Appeal organiser and welfare worker.

He was also until very recently treasurer of Northamptonshire County RBL.

He died 10 months after being diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 74 and St Peter’s Church in Irthlingborough was filled by family, friends and Legion members for his funeral today (Friday).

Standards from across the county lined the path to the church as the coffin, draped in a Union Jack flag and bearing Mr Walker’s medals, was carried into the church.

A drum was also beaten as people gathered to pay their respects.

The service, led by the Revd Pauline Tate, included the reading of a poem entitled A Soldier Died Today and the hymns The Lord’s My Shepherd and I Vow To Thee My Country.

Allan Short from the Finedon and Irthlingborough Royal British Legion had been asked to do the eulogy by Mr Walker before he died.

While he refused at the time, he spoke warmly today as he paid tribute to the passion, hard work and friendship shown by Mr Walker during his life.

Mr Short said it was not an eulogy, but rather a warning to Mr Walker’s ‘new commanding officer.’

The Last Post was played and the numerous standards were raised once again as the service came to a close.

As well as Legion members from across the county, the service was also attended by members of Irthlingborough Town Council and East Northamptonshire Council.

Mr Walker was a father-of-two, grandfather and great-grandfather, and leaves behind wife Julie.

He served in the Royal Signal Section, including being signaller for Colonel John Blashford-Snell during the Sandhurst Ethiopian expedition in 1966.

After leaving the forces, he ran a cafe in Irthlingborough High Street for about 20 years.

Paying tribute to Mr Walker earlier this month, Peter Eames, the Legion’s public relations officer in Northamptonshire, said: “He was a lovely man and we will miss him, he was a true gentleman. We are not going to be able to replace him.”

Donations in Mr Walker’s memory will be going to the Finedon branch of the RBL or Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.