December 12 2013 Latest news:
Friday, August 30, 2013
Moving tributes were paid at a funeral service to a Norwich war hero who spearheaded a 20-year campaign to revitalise the city’s war memorial.
The congregation packed into St Faith’s Crematorium in Horsham St Faith, with many listening while standing in the doorway, as relatives of Raymond Self provided poignant eulogies to the former Royal Navy serviceman in a service that aimed to be light-hearted, as well as serious, to reflect his sense of humour.
His brother, Clifford, set the humourous tone by describing how Mr Self had told everyone that he wanted to join the Navy, but really just wanted to get away from him as a baby.
He also described how the former lorry driver, who did deliveries for Leveridge Brothers, was nearly sick after eating too much marzipan during a visit to a bakers.
However, perhaps the most moving recollections came from Mr Self’s granddaughter Emma, who said her grandfather had taught her the importance of manners and to see the good in people “that every face is a potential friend”.
She said: “If anyone was the life and soul of the party, it was definitely my granddad. Family was everything to my granddad and he will continue to be everything to us.”
Former Norwich City Council leader Steve Morphew also paid tribute to Mr Self for his role in the refurbishment of the war memorial in his capacity as the founder member of the Norwich Royal Naval Association.
The memorial reopened in 2011 after work costing £2.6m.
He said: “I am proud to have known Ray and proud to have worked with him and proud of his achievements. Norwich can hold its head much higher because of him.”
Further tributes came from Mr Self’s sons David, Deryck and Richard who all reflected on his great sense of humour and how he always put his family first.
David said: “He had a great sense of humour and welcomed anyone into the family. He did not have a bad word to say about anybody.”
Mr Self also served in the Home Guard.