It was the funeral of my workmate today. Coaches were laid on to take us to the cemetery, crews from around London came in to work our local shifts so that all those who wanted to attend could, and management that I have never seen before turned up.
There was more than 75 people from the service there, and as the family had asked, it was a Service funeral. We lined the approach way to the chapel and stood to attention as the funeral cortage passed. First were two medic motorbikes, followed by two flag-bearers in dress uniform carrying the Union flag and the Service flag. Then came the cars carrying the coffin and his family. Taking the rear was an ambulance driven by his old crew mate, the passenger seat properly left empty. Finally, the HEMS helicopter, with perfect timing, did a low flyover. It was a very powerful sight, and it was this that brought a tear to mine, and many others eyes.

There then followed a service in which the Service Chaplin said a few words, some of the people who knew the deceased talked about him, once more letting people cry. I spent much of this time staring at the carpet in the chapel, but I couldn't now tell you what colour it was.

It was a good service, and I think it did everything that a good funeral service should do.

4 thoughts on “Funeral”

  1. Thoughtful that they covered people's shifts so you could attend if you wanted.We do that in the Police service too. It adds to the comeraderie, the sense that you're not alone in this hard job. It comforts me that my family would have support from my work colleagues if the worst were to happen to me. I'm sure it does the same for you.

    Funerals are hard things to go to, but will have helped [both you and your colleagues family] tremendously to acknowledge him and his life and his work.


  2. Wow. Funerals are always such potent affairs.I'm glad he had a good service. It's at times like this I realise jsut how petty my own concerns are.

    Please pass my condolences on.

  3. Beautifully written. And fascinating to read. Thank you for writing about it, I bet that wasn't easy either.

  4. I'm a Firefighter/EMT in West Virginia, USA and I'd like to offer my condolences. I've attended several funerals for colleagues in both the Fire and EMS sides, and they are the most wrenching affairs possible, ranking right up there with funerals of close family members.Remember your colleague and celebrate their life as you go forward.

    Best Regards

    Harry Miller

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