A FUNERAL has been held for a Second World War veteran who was for years York's "Mr Poppy".
Joseph Munday died on Friday, May 30, at the age of 87 after a varied and colourful life that saw him parachute into occupied France and Germany in the final months of the Second World War, served in Palestine, spend years living "on the road" in England with his family, and become a well known member of York's community.
Six standard bearers from the British Legion, the Parachute Regimental Association, the Royal Signals Association, and the Palestine Veterans Association, all paid tribute to the remarkable man at a funeral at York Crematorium yesterday.
With his coffin draped in the St George's flag, a bugler sounded the last post and friends and family bade farewell to Mr Munday singing a favourite song - Love's Old Sweet Song (Just a Song at Twilight).
Born "within the sound of Bow Bells" in 1927, Mr Munday was a proud Cockney all his life. He eldest of four children of Alf and Emily Munday - a tailor and a cook for Jaeger - he was called up to military service in 1944.
He joined the Royal Corps of Signals and was posted to Catterick for training but his experience in the cubs and scouts meant he had already mastered both semaphore and morse code. He soon volunteered for the Parachute Regiment and gained his wings and had his first operational drop parachuting into France during the D Day landings.
He later took part in the crossing of the Rhine, when he dropped into Germany and landed in the Rhine itself, and went on to serce in Palestine until he eventually left the Army in 1948, returned home to Sussex and married wife Betty.
The family spent many years living in a caravan following Joseph's work as an electrician around the country, before settling near York when he took a job as the superintendent of York's waterworks at Elvington.
He lived in York for more than 40 years, becoming an active, well known and respected member of the community. Organising the Poppy Appeal in the city for seven years until 2002, he was the city's Mr Poppy; and he was a founding member of the York branch of the Parachute Regimental Association.
A father-of-three, Mr Munday is survived by children Patricia, Colin and Christopher as well as four grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.