Funeral of Peggy Dale

 

All photographs with kind permission of the Buckingham and Winslow Advertiser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zip file of these plus more photographs

Funeral of Sqn Ldr Peggy Dale – Tuesday 23 July

The morning of Tuesday 23 July 5 members of London Home counties Branch, Bob Strachan (National Standard), Bill Sykes (London Home Counties Standard), Mike Lester and Pat Plumridge (Pall Guard) and Roy Laver (Joint Parade Marshall) joined members of Royal British Legion, Buckingham and Members of Buckingham Air Cadets at the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Buckingham, to pay respects to the late Sqn Ldr Peggy Dale.  Peggy Dale was a full member of our Association and had been for longer than my limited records show.

The planned ceremonial was performed by a Colour Party (CP) and a Pall Guard (PG). Several people have not heard the term Pall Guard before, it is the Guard to that which the Pall Bearers bear. Or, close escort to the coffin. Both groups were made up of RBL, RAFPA and Air Cadets. In addition some RAFA Standards were present in the CP. Due to fewer than expected members of RAFPA and RBL turning up the Air Cadets were invited to fill vacant places as escorts to the RAFPA National Standard and sidesmen in the Pall Guard, tasks they accepted with alacrity and performed faultlessly.

The Colour Party and the Pall Guard formed up on Castle Hill and after a bit of a surprise when the hearse followed by the Mourner’s car arrived 12 minutes early, slow marched in to the churchyard, Colour party in the lead and the Pall guard either side of the hearse. Inside the church yard the hearse with it’s attendant Guard halted and the Colour Party continued to the church doorway where it formed two files with standards ‘ordered’. 

 Meanwhile Pall Bearers from the church shouldered the coffin and walked with the Pall Guard through the files of Standards to the Church door where the Minister received the deceased into the church. Both the CP and PG then joined the congregation.

The service was celebratory of a life in tone with cheerful hymns and humorous recollections of Peggy’s life for a close friend and from John Bercow Speaker of the House of Commons.  The Service ended with the Exhortation given by the RBL County President followed by the Last Post then Reveille sounded by a Trumpeter from the band of the RAF College Cranwell.  During the service the weather outside had gone from bright sunshine to a veritable cloud burst.

The CP reformed outside and was marched off to the final saluting base outside the churchyard. The PG took post alongside the hearse and then slow marched through the gathered congregation to the saluting base where the CP had been brought to a ‘wet conditions dip’.At dead slow the cortege now passed through the salute and as the hearse stopped for the Funeral Director to return the PG gave the final salute.

Whilst this sounds to be fairly simple ceremonial it was carried out without rehearsal and with a mix of participants who had just 16 minutes briefing (cut short by the early arrival of the Cortege).  I respective of this limitation I believe that we gave Peggy a befitting send-off that she would have been pleased with.

Roy Laver

London Home Counties Branch