Tributes to dedicated member of Finedon and Irthlingborough’s Royal British Legion

Tributes have been paid to Brian Walker
Tributes have been paid to Brian Walker

Standards from around the county will be raised to honour the life of a dedicated and popular member of the Royal British Legion.

Tributes have been paid to Brian Walker who 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 to the day after being diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 74.

Peter Eames, the Legion’s public relations officer in Northamptonshire, said he was proud to have known Brian and he would be sorely missed.

He said: “I don’t know what we are going to do without him.”

Brian 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.

Mr Eames said: “He was very well known to all the locals.

“He joined the Finedon and Irthlingborough branch of the Royal British Legion in 1985.

“He finished up as chairman and treasurer as well.

“He’s been a parade marshall and most of the standard bearers that will be out at the funeral have been taught by Brian.

“Brian looked after the Poppy Appeal for Finedon and Irthlingborough for years and raised thousands, I couldn’t put a figure on it.

“He always welcomed new members to the Finedon branch with a smile and offer of light refreshment and he seemed to have this way about him, he got me hooked.”

Mr Eames added: “We have got 34 branches throughout the county and we are hoping for 20 standards at the funeral.

“What we have asked of those who can’t make it is for them to send their standard so we can still have it there.

“Brian was so well respected in the Legion and not just in Northamptonshire.”

Mr Eames has received lots of phone calls about the funeral and said they were expecting a full house.

He said: “Brian would be loving this, he said he wanted as many standards as possible at his funeral and we said we would do our level best for him, but it’s not been difficult.

“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.”

All are welcome to attend the funeral at 11am on Friday, May 15, at St Peter’s Church in Irthlingborough.

It is family flowers only, but donations can be made to the Finedon branch of the RBL or Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

The branch has also said it would like to remember Brian in the future, such as having a Brian Walker memorial cup.