Poignant farewell for legend Tony
- Credit: Submitted
A fitting and poignant farewell was given to Torbay war veterans legend Tony Rider.
Mr Rider, renowned for his work with the Normandy Veterans’ Association, the annual D-Day commemoration services and his fight to protect and save the D-Day slipways at Torquay harbour, died recently aged 91.
Close family attended his funeral but the local NVA standard was raised and a bugler played the Last Post as Mr Rider was laid to rest.
The NVA standard had been laid up in the chapel at Torre Abbey - where memorial stones also point towards Normandy and Dunkirk - but former bearer Lionel Digby was given permission to raise it at the funeral.
Fellow veteran and friend Mr Digby said: “I have over the years carried the NVA Standard at many funerals, but this time it was a sadder and more personal event as Tony was a long-standing friend and a fellow army veteran.
“I know he would have approved of how it went even though he never liked a fuss, always got the job done and never looked for praise.”
Major Ron Goodwin, president of Paignton’s Royal British Legion, also attended the funeral as well as some of Mr Rider’s former NVA’s colleagues.
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Torquay businessman Mr Digby has said of Mr Rider: “As a friend and fellow Army veteran he will be greatly missed on parade. The heavens now have a new Sgt Major.”