Funeral for much-loved Legion man

HUNDREDS of mourners turned out for the funeral of the chairman of the Ipswich Royal British Legion today.

HUNDREDS of mourners were expected to turn out for the funeral of the chairman of the Ipswich Royal British Legion today .

Peter Thompson's coffin was due to be carried into St Mary-le-Tower Church by his grandsons and followed by members of the Ipswich branch of the Royal British Legion and the Royal Naval Association.

Members from the HMS Grafton were also due to attend the service which was due to start at 2.30pm.

The 72-year-old, of Thurleston Lane, Ipswich was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus two months before he died on June 25.

Speaking before the service, his wife, Betty, said: “It might be one of the biggest churches in the town but I am not sure it will be big enough for the event.

“We have had so many sympathy cards and everyone has said they will be coming along.

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“It is wonderful to see he was so important to so many people.”

Mr Thompson's granddaughter, Charlie, and his brother, Frank, were due to carry wreaths into the church. Frank was also due to read a eulogy.

The congregation were expected to rise during the service to sing the hymn Dear Lord and Father of Mankind.

Mr Thompson was well-known in Suffolk for his work as chairman of Ipswich's Royal British Legion, campaigning to renovate a war memorial in the town and collecting funds for the Poppy Appeal.

He was inspired to take on the chairman post after an education at the Royal Hospital School, in Holbrook, and many of his family members joining the navy.

He also did national service and his father fought in the battle of Jutland in the First World War.

A private cremation for the family and a wake at Mr Thompson's home were due to take place after the service.

N Did you attend the service? Did you think it was a fitting tribute? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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