Poignant farewell for legend Tony

Picture of veterans' standard being raised and bugler at war veteran's funeral

Poignant moment as the Standard is raised and the Last Post sounded - 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.” 

NVA veterans, colleagues and friends pictured paying their respects at a veteran's funeral

Mr Digby, Major Goodwin and NVA colleagues paid their respects - Credit: Submitted

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.”