By Zara Evans, Funeral Arranger
It’s always special when we’re asked to conduct a veteran’s funeral but following this Remembrance Day, I wanted to write about one that really stood out.
In October, Co-op Funeralcare Salford conducted the funeral of Oswald Dixon, an ex-RAF serviceman, who had been living in a local care home for the final years of his life.
Oswald had a remarkable life and was a remarkable man, not just because of his service in the war. He was from Jamaica and joined the RAF in Kingston, Jamaica, in November 1944 as a flight mechanic. He moved to Britain before World War Two ended and lived a long life. At his 100th birthday celebration, Oswald said that he always tried to live life as it should be lived, by doing things for other people.
Mr Dixon had no known relatives in the UK so his former care home issued a plea, to get people to attend the funeral. This was published in national newspapers and magazines and to say there was lots of interest was an understatement. In the end, hundreds attended the funeral in Salford. It was amazing and overwhelming to be there.
RAF Air Cadets and members of 34 Squadron RAF Regiment carried the coffin into the chapel at Agecroft Cemetery and we used our poppy hearse for his funeral, these personal touches made it feel really special.
One person travelled all the way from Cheltenham to pay his respects and said to the BBC “I didn’t know him. It’s not about the expense, it’s not about the distance, I just had to be here.”
I’m so pleased that we were able to give Oswald the best possible send off. I am thinking of, and wearing my poppy for all veterans past and present this Remembrance Day week.