FRIENDS and former servicemen and women across York are being urged to give a suitable send-off to a Normandy Veteran and Royal British Legion stalwart who has died, aged 91.
Widower Reg Clemmett, a founder member and former president of the Legion's Fulford branch, had only a few family members, and his only son Peter feared only a handful of mourners would turn up to his funeral next week.
Now the call has gone out for as many Legion members as possible to come along to the service at 11.45am on Tuesday 22 April at St Oswald's Church, Fulford, to give him a proper farewell.
Peter said his father had joined the RAF at the start of the war and trained as a radio mechanic.
On D-Day, he crossed the Channel but was unable to embark on Gold Beach when his tank landing craft reached Normandy because of a mechanical problem and he had to remain offshore overnight before landing successfully the next day.
He then made his way inland, and set up his aerial to provide wireless communications between the army front line and its headquarters, and he carried on providing this service throughout the rest of the war.
He founded the Fulford branch of the Legion in 1948 and became a standard bearer for 40 years and organised the Poppy Collection for 20 years, and he served as branch secretary, chairman and eventually president.
He said Reg was also heavily involved in the Tramways club, where he became president.
Derek Thornton, current branch president, who will give a eulogy to Reg at the funeral, paid tribute yesterday to his work for the Legion.
He said Reg and his late wife Doris were to thank for the branch flourishing so successfully today, with about a hundred members.
"When I joined in the early 1970s, he was chairman and the poppy appeal organiser, and Doris was treasurer and secretary," he added.
Ken Smith, secretary of the York Normandy Veterans Association, said he had not known Reg but now planned to go to his funeral, after hearing the plea to attend.