‘Farewell to one of Baldock’s quiet heroes’ – Family, friends and Legion members pay tribute to D-Day veteran and Poppy Appeal stalwart Frank Hooton

D-Day veteran Frank Hooton's flag-draped coffin is carried into St Mary's Church in Baldock. Photo:

D-Day veteran Frank Hooton's flag-draped coffin is carried into St Mary's Church in Baldock. Photo: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

An emotional farewell was paid yesterday to a D-Day veteran and Poppy Appeal mainstay from Baldock who has died aged 90.

Rev Andrew Holford leads the way, followed by Royal British Legion standard-bearer Al Hayhurst, as D

Rev Andrew Holford leads the way, followed by Royal British Legion standard-bearer Al Hayhurst, as D-Day veteran Frank Hooton's flag-draped coffin is carried into St Mary's Church in Baldock. Photo: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

St Mary’s Church was the venue for the funeral of Frank Hooton, who was on one of the landing craft dropping Royal Marines on Sword Beach in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Family and friends were joined by a contingent from the Royal British Legion’s Baldock branch, which Frank had joined when it re-formed in 2006.

His flag-draped coffin was led in by the branch standard, carried by Al Hayhurst, and saluted by Legion members at the church door.

Eric Woodward, formerly of the Royal Artillery. Photo: Karyn Haddon

Eric Woodward, formerly of the Royal Artillery. Photo: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

A Legion spokesman described Frank to the Comet as ‘one of Baldock’s quiet heroes’. He had tirelessly collected for the Poppy Appeal outside Tesco.


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Rev Andrew Holford led the service, with eulogies read by Frank’s son-in-law John Edmunds and the Legion’s county chaplain Rev Tony Ruffell.

Frank’s London origins, working life and service to the nation were stressed – as were his love of dancing, his achievements in life and, most of all, his love for his family.

Royal British Legion Baldock branch secretary Janice Middleton (Secretary Royal British Legion), bra

Royal British Legion Baldock branch secretary Janice Middleton (Secretary Royal British Legion), branch chairman Peter Cherry, standard bearer Al Hayhurst, Royal Artilleryman Eric Woodward, Legion chaplain Tony Ruffell and Legion county vice-chairman Paul Middleton at Frank Hooton's funeral in Baldock. Photo: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

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The service was followed by a gathering at the Orange Tree pub, which was filled with the exchange of happy memories about Frank and his life.

Donations in Frank’s memory can be made to the Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

For more about the Legion’s Baldock branch, see facebook.com/rblbaldock.

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