Town says farewell to hard-working Reg

VIDEO He was a man who survived being held by the Germans as a prisoner of war and went on to devote much of his life to the people of Ipswich.'Mr Poppy' Reg Driver died just on November 6, just days before he was due to help lead Remembrance Day celebrations.

HE was a man who survived being held by the Germans as a prisoner of war and went on to devote much of his life to the people of Ipswich.

'Mr Poppy' Reg Driver died just on November 6, just days before he was due to help lead Remembrance Day celebrations.

Now Ipswich has said goodbye to a man who gave the town a lifetime's dedication.

In a fitting final farewell to him, hundreds of well-wishers joined his wife Peggy and grandchildren Abby and Joe yesterday to say goodbye to him at St Mary-Le-Tower Church in Ipswich.

Standard-bearers flanked the congregation as they listened to tributes to Mr Driver, who was a stalwart of the Ipswich Royal British Legion and a dedicated member of the Conservative party.

Rev Canon Edward Wells MBE gave an address praising the 88-year-old's life and urging those who had known him to remember him in their hearts.

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He said: “As I was remembering him I wrote down the name Driver in capital letters on a piece of paper.

“I thought 'what an apt name' because that is exactly what he did to himself, he drove himself very hard all the time and very gently drove others also to get done what he wanted done.

“He did not spare himself in anything he did. He was a dedicated man in every sense of the word.

“He was resilient in everything he did, determined to go forward not least in the case of the Royal British Legion.

“He was tireless, never to be wearied and he had vision.”

Rev Wells particularly highlighted Mr Driver's vision in campaigning for the names of soldiers who died in the Second World War to be put on the war memorial in Ipswich's Christchurch Park, a campaign he won.

After Rev Wells finished his eulogy mourners sang Jerusalem, recited The Lord's Prayer, and observed one minute of silence before leaving the church to Vera Lynn's 'We'll meet Again'.

Reg Driver

Born in Ipswich, he served with the Royal Corps of Signals during the Second World War and was serving in North Africa when his unit was captured by the Germans. He spent the rest of the war in prisoner of war camps.

At the end of the war he returned to Ipswich and worked for the auctioneers and estate agents Knights in Diss and Stowmarket for many years.

He was elected to Ipswich council in 1976 where he served as a Conservative councillor until 1990 and was group leader for a time.

During his time with the Royal British Legion in Ipswich he served as president, chairman, poppy appeal organiser, and parade organiser at the memorial in Christchurch Park.

Just two weeks before his death he was on the Cornhill in Ipswich for the parade by members of the Army Air Corps.

He died after suffering a heart attack during a routine hospital operation on November 6.

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