31 July 2009

Henry Allingham laid to rest

Henry Allingham, last surviving founding member of the Royal Air Force and last survivor of the Battle of Jutland, was laid to rest in Brighton yesterday. ZUI this article from the MOD Defence News:
The funeral of Henry Allingham, one of the last veterans of the First World War and the world's oldest man, took place today at St Nicholas Church, Brighton, East Sussex.

Hundreds of mourners joined Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester, President of the World War One Veterans Association; Veterans Minister Kevan Jones; Commander-in-Chief Fleet of the Royal Navy Admiral Sir Trevor Soar; and Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, incoming Chief of the Air Staff, to pay their respects to Mr Allingham.

Uniquely, three Royal Navy and three Royal Air Force personnel bore the coffin into the church, paying tribute to Mr Allingham's service during the First World War.

Behind the coffin Mr Allingham's great-grandsons - Petty Officer 2nd Class Brent Gray, United States Navy, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Gray, United States Navy - carried his medals. These included his two campaign medals from the First World War, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, and the Legion d'Honneur, of which Mr Allingham was made Officier earlier this year.


After the coffin was carried out of the church, Royal Marines buglers sounded the Last Post and a bugler from the French Armed Forces sounded a reveille as the church bell was tolled 113 times, one for each year of Mr Allingham's life.

Following the reveille there was a flypast of five replica World War One aircraft over Brighton in salute to Mr Allingham, consisting of three SE5s, a Sopwith Pup and a Sopwith Triplane.

ZUI also this article from the BBC, this article from The Guardian and this article from The Telegraph. For a historical note, ZUI this article from the BBC.

Funeral photograph © Crown Copyright/MOD 2009.

1 comment:

Strawberryyog said...

Dear Old Coot, this might be too much detail for all but the chronically obsessed, but there's a bit more on the musical (outdoor!) aspects of Mr Allingham's funeral here, if you're interested: www.lastpostbuglecall.org.uk. Best wishes, vogel.