Dereham soldier’s funeral route finalised

The route of a fallen paratrooper's final journey through his home town on Wednesday (March 2) has been confirmed as full details of his funeral cortege were announced.

Hundreds are expected to line the streets of Dereham to show their respects for Pte Lewis Hendry, who will be buried with full military honours.

The soldier was killed on February 9 while on patrol in Afghanistan, three days before his 21st birthday.

The 1.30pm service at St Nicholas' Church and the committal ceremony at Northgate Cemetery will both remain private, for family members and close friends.

But the Hendry family, backed by calls from church leaders and civic dignitaries, have encouraged people to line the route between the church and the cemetery to pay their last respects and display the town's pride.

The cortege will leave the church at about 2.15pm following the service and will move at walking pace along Church Street, turning left onto the market place, followed on foot by a party of family, friends and invited attendees.

It will pass the town's war memorial before turning right along Theatre Street, and is expected to arrive at the cemetery at 2.35pm.

Most Read

A road closure order will also be made from the Sandy Lane junction with Swaffham Road from 1pm as the cortege travels to the church.

PC Steve Ashman, of Norfolk police's Events Planning Unit, said: 'Although the cortege will drive to the church, this is not a walking cortege. If people want to show their respects, we would encourage them to gather in preparation for when the cortege walks from the church at about 2.15pm to the cemetery along the prescribed route. That would be the best time to do it.

'We support the family in their wish for people to turn up and show their respects, but we would ask people to bear safety in mind, to remain on the pavement and keep the route of the cortege clear.'

Road closures will be made on a rolling basis as the cortege progresses along the route, to minimise traffic delays.

Norfolk County Council has also agreed to suspend roadworks on Theatre Street as a mark of respect, and to allow the funeral procession to move unhindered.

Roadworks which were due to start on February 28 have been postponed until March 3.