May 142020

The family of a Chelsea Pensioner have thanked dozens of people who lined the streets to applaud his funeral procession.
Fred Boomer-Hawkins died aged 75 last month after contracting coronavirus.

Sadly, his funeral at Colchester Crematorium had to be limited in numbers due to social distancing regulations, meaning only close family could attend.

But following an appeal by Peter Dutch on community Facebook community group the Colchester Anti-Loo Roll Brigade and in the Gazette, people lined the streets to applaud and pay their respects.

Soldiers from the Military Corrective Training Centre, in Berechurch Hall Road,where Fred served for seven years, and Royal Mail workers were among those who paid their respects.

Fred’s son Terry, 49, issued a heartfelt thanks on behalf of himself, sister Anita and the whole family.
He said: “We were overwhelmed by the support of the people of Colchester.

“From the very start on Adelaide Drive people where at the side of the road clapping and this continued along the whole route all the way to the crematorium.

“We would like to offer special thanks to the postal workers of the Royal Mail who were out in numbers along Mersea Road, the soldiers of the MCTC who formed a guard of honour on Berechurch Hall Road, the soldiers from Merville Barracks and the rehabilitation centre who were stood to attention on Berechurch Road and the Military Police who were out in numbers by Abbey Fields.

“Seeing so many people along the route offering their support was a great comfort to the family and they are very grateful to everyone, you all helped ease the sadness of only ten people being able to attend the funeral.

“Without the kindness of so many, Fred’s final journey would not have been fitting.”

The dedicated veteran started his Army career as a Royal Green Jacket and his service took him all over the globe.

His passion for travel continued throughout his life, and he also loved boxing, scooping numerous awards during his forces days and continuing to coach and referee after he hung up his own gloves.

As well as his three children, he leaves three step-children, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

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The Chad

Nugent @ChadNugent