Pub offers transport to attend Norfolk Royal Marine's funeral
PUBLISHED: 16:38 30 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:12 31 December 2019
A pub landlord is putting on a minibus service for well wishers wanting to pay their respects to a former Royal Marine.
Paul Sandford, of The Railway Tavern in Dereham, has offered to transport veterans and those who cannot drive to the service for Reg Wilcox in Watton on January 9.
Mr Wilcox's nephew Alan Rickett made a plea to the community to give the former servicemen and firefighter the perfect send-off.
The appeal has been shared more than 400 times on social media with many people offering to attend.
Mr Sandford said his own father was in the forces and he was sad at the thought of no-one attending a serviceman's funeral.
He said: "I wanted to see if we could help by picking anyone up who otherwise wouldn't be able to travel."
The bus will set off between 10-10.15am and the landlord said he was happy to pick people who lived en route to the church.
In his appeal, Mr Rickett asked for any veterans to attend the funeral and appealed for Royal Navy or Royal Marine standards to be flown.
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Jim Newell, from Watton, who served in the Parachute Regiment and bomb disposal team, has made contact with the Royal Marines Association to see if it could offer a Royal Marines shroud for the funeral.
Mr Wilcox, who was 90, was born on April 15, 1929, and served on the HMS Gambia, HMS Victoria and HMS Glory.
After leaving the Royal Marines he spent more than two decades as a fireman for London Fire Brigade, attending the Moorgate tube crash in 1975.
His family paid tribute to a "wonderfully kind" man, who was known for looking smart.
Mr Rickett said it has been an incredible response from the community. He said: "It's been absolutely incredible. He would be absolutely chuffed."
Mr Wilcox will be buried at St Mary's Church, Church Road, Watton, at 11am on Thursday, January 9.
Anyone who wishes to attend may wear "typical attire" for the occasion including berets, medals and regimental ties.
The family are planning refreshments after the service in Queens Hall, which is where Mr Wilcox enjoyed playing bowls.
If you would like to reserve a space on the minibus for the service contact the pub on 01362 288166.