SAIF Member Paul Capper will ‘Serve them all my days.”01/11/2019 // No Comments
Someone once said to me, “No wonder you hang about the Legion. It’s full of old people and you are a funeral director.” Funny for some, but a careless thought when you don’t know someone.
I was brought up in a military family with, like a lot of us, family members whose service to this Sceptred Isle goes back to the First World War and all conflicts since. I personally have two great great uncles buried at Delville Wood Common Wealth War Grave Cemetery on the Somme, who died aged just 20 and 23.
My maternal grandfather survived D-Day to become a decorated Normandy Veteran who died on his 88th Birthday. My late father was in The Royal Corps of Transport and, sadly my cousin David was shot and killed by a sniper in the Gulf.
So you see this is why I ‘’hang about with ‘the Legion.’’
Sadly when I was making career choices, I was unable to join the armed forces but always made a pledge to myself and my grandfather that I would one day join and support a military charity. I have now been a Poppy seller for 20 years and a funeral director for over 30 years, soon appreciating the importance of a Union Flag coffin drape, The Last Post and Exhortation – key ingredients for a successful, ceremonial funeral.
Our late branch President, Norman Brown MBE, and myself always felt that it was such a travesty that the only name to appear on our Borough War Memorial was that of the sculptor! Wee set about to have a new war memorial erected and dedicated to not only those who died in combat, but also the civilians that also died under aerial attack. Our dreams were realised in 2018 and we now have a new Town War Memorial. Sadly Norman did not live to see its completion but we gained permission and arranged for his ashes to be interred within its foundations.
Also in 2018 I was greatly honoured to march in the Pilgrimage 90 Parade through Ypres and lay a wreath at the Menin Gate on behalf of our branch along with 2,200 RBL personal (1,100 Standard bearers and 1,100 wreath bearers) marching behind The Band of H.M.Royal Marines.
Eastleigh is fortunate that we have a theatre and we hold our own Festival of Remembrance which I compere annually. I am very pleased to say that our branch has raised £55,000.00 this year alone.
I have always been proud of the association and partnership between The Royal British Legion and Golden Charter and I am honoured to hold the posts of Chairman of Eastleigh, Chandlers Ford and District Branch and Chairman of The Royal British Legion Classic Vehicle Branch.
As funeral directors there are so many ways that we can tastefully use our vehicles and premises to the benefit of charitable causes and our premises too to the benefit of your company, your clients and the communities we serve.
We live on an island that has been unconquered for over a thousand years and this is down to our armed forces and associated organisations. As we know, there are a great many charities worthy of our donations and those given in lieu of flowers however, we can do nothing without our security and freedom. Our veterans of all ages and conflicts deserve our support.
This is why I choose to sell only Golden Charter Pre Paid Funeral Plans and to be an active member of The Royal British Legion and choose ‘To Serve Them All my Days.’