The Last Post
At 12:53 today the funeral car carrying Freddie Johnson arrived outside St Mary’s church in Tadcaster. An honour guard made up from RAF Personnel and members of the Yorkshire University Air Squadron lined the path to the church to say the final farewells to a hero.
At exactly 1 o’clock the pall bearers took their places to carry Freddie into the church. Canon Sue Sheriff conducted the service which included the life and times of Freddie Johnson. Although Freddie lived until the age of 92, only 5 of those years were spent in the RAF. Sue quoted “He was a family man at heart with so much love for his wife, children, grand children and great grandchildren” which is a side that many people from Tadcaster will remember him for.
Freddie flew 92 missions during World War II and was shot down twice. The average life span of a plane crew during the war was only 3 weeks, but somehow Freddie spent 5 years in the air and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross among several others medals.
many people attended the service where family members paid their respects through poems and stories. Freddie’s youngest son who now lives in New Zealand also had a recording of a prayer for Freddie which one of his children had recorded in Maori.
A slide show of Freddie’s life was shown which showed many aspects of his adult life including his marriage and his children.
A prayer was also read out by a member of the RAFA (Royal Air Forces Association) donations were also collected for RAFA in lieu of flowers.
Freddie’s exit from the church was preceded by a flypast by a lone plane (not knowing about planes I was informed that this was most likely a Tucano) of the RAF’s Yorkshire University Air Squadron. As the coffin approached the funeral car, a lone trumpeter played the last post which was a very moving tribute to a hero.
After the service Freddie’s coffin as taken to Harrogate Crematorium, a wake was also held at the Tadcaster Social club where the flag flew at half mast.
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