Full military honours are paid to war hero Stan after he was weeks away from getting a pauper's funeral

Thurrock Gazette: Full military honours are paid to war hero Stan after he was weeks away from getting a pauper's funeral Full military honours are paid to war hero Stan after he was weeks away from getting a pauper's funeral

THE roar of a Spitfire filled the air as a Second World War hero was given a fitting send off.

Stan Franks was laid to rest at Basildon Crematorium with full military honours, having previously been set for a pauper’s funeral.

Thurrock Gazette:

Stan, a Bomber Command pilot in the RAF, flew 31 missions over Germany by the time he was 19.

But the 88-year-old was going to have a pauper’s funeral with no money or family nearby.

However, the community rallied together and raised £3,000 for a fitting funeral, complete with a flypast by a Spitfire.

Thurrock Gazette:

Stan died at his home, in Vange Park Road, Fobbing, in October.

His death only became known after a waitress at the Five Bells pub, who served him every day, became concerned for his welfare.

Thurrock Gazette:

The community came together to raise money for the funeral with any surplus cash being sent to help other veteran RAF personnel.

Hundreds turned out to Stan’s funeral on Friday, with veterans and young cadets giving him a guard of honour. Standard bearers from British Legion groups stood to recognise the RAF veteran, and members from the RAF Association also attended.

Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, and Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price attended along with Squadron Leader Rick Fryer, who is the RAF station commander at RAF Mildenhall.

After the service, friends returned to Stan’s favourite pub, the Five Bells. Jim Gooding, chairman of Thurrock RAF Association, said: “It was excellent and very well attended.

Thurrock Gazette:

Everyone said afterwards he had the marvellous send off he deserves.”

Prime Minister David Cameron has given his own tribute to Mr Franks in the Houses of Parliament after hearing about his dedication to his country.

He said: “The story of Stan Franks is a truly remarkable one.

“It is a real reminder to our generation of just how much previous generations put in to make sure we could live in freedom.

“We should never forget those brave crews in Bomber Command.

“So many now are coming to the end of their lives – so many who did so much for our country.”

Comments (6)

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2:33pm Mon 16 Dec 13

knighs1 says...

Fitting tribute to a real hero. RIP.

“We should never forget those brave crews in Bomber Command.
“So many now are coming to the end of their lives – so many who did so much for our country.”


Trouble is Mr Cameron you and previous governments have forgotten those that served and continue to serve this country. Still never mind eh! Enjoy your pay rise.
Fitting tribute to a real hero. RIP. “We should never forget those brave crews in Bomber Command. “So many now are coming to the end of their lives – so many who did so much for our country.” Trouble is Mr Cameron you and previous governments have forgotten those that served and continue to serve this country. Still never mind eh! Enjoy your pay rise. knighs1

3:01pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Southend Andy says...

Hero to all of us now known to god. R.I.P. Sir
Hero to all of us now known to god. R.I.P. Sir Southend Andy

3:12pm Mon 16 Dec 13

BrianOtridge says...

I salute Mr Franks for the contribution he made to retaining our freedoms and national identity that our forbears have fought and died for, over 800 years.

In his memory, we should dedicate ourselves to preserving those same freedoms and that national identity into the future, whatever obstacles are put in our way by those who are opposed to them.
I salute Mr Franks for the contribution he made to retaining our freedoms and national identity that our forbears have fought and died for, over 800 years. In his memory, we should dedicate ourselves to preserving those same freedoms and that national identity into the future, whatever obstacles are put in our way by those who are opposed to them. BrianOtridge

4:18pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Kim Gandy says...

At least have enough respect for this gentleman to write the headline properly. This one doesn't scan and is misleading until you read the copy.

How sad that he had no family nearby but very fitting and right that he has a proper send off.

RIP brave one... there are few of his like left now more's the pity.
At least have enough respect for this gentleman to write the headline properly. This one doesn't scan and is misleading until you read the copy. How sad that he had no family nearby but very fitting and right that he has a proper send off. RIP brave one... there are few of his like left now more's the pity. Kim Gandy

7:27pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Dave_ says...

It is encouraging that the staff at the 5 Bells noticed him and then did something, otherwise this could have been even more tragic.

A fitting send off for someone who did things to preserve our freedom that we can't even begin to understand.

RIP Mr Franks.
It is encouraging that the staff at the 5 Bells noticed him and then did something, otherwise this could have been even more tragic. A fitting send off for someone who did things to preserve our freedom that we can't even begin to understand. RIP Mr Franks. Dave_

8:24pm Tue 17 Dec 13

reg reg says...

now that's a proper send off for a proper hero
thanks Mr franks
rest in peace now sir
now that's a proper send off for a proper hero thanks Mr franks rest in peace now sir reg reg

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