A long-standing member of the Royal Lincolnshire Regimental Association who attended hundreds of funerals with the standard, had the same honour paid to him at his funeral this week.
Eddie Compton, who died last month aged 84, was a well-known and well-loved member of the community, who would often be seen marching at Remembrance services or dipping the Lincolnshire Regimental standard at the funerals of former members.
“I used to call him a professional mourner,” says his son Kevin. “He must have been to hundreds of funerals over the years, taking and dipping the standard. We think he’d been doing it for over 25 years. He loved to do it and he was proud to do it.
“My dad was very jolly and very outspoken – if he had something to say he’d say it to you. He knew Robert Holland very well because of attending so many funerals and they had a bit of a rapport. Robert said that if he drove past he’d wind the window down and say ‘have you got a sale on Bob?’ That’s what my dad was like.
“When we were kids and went to town with Dad it would take us an hour or so to walk through the market because every two minutes he’d be stopping and speaking to somebody.”
Indeed, Eddie’s funeral service on Monday was packed with friends and family, who watched as his coffin draped in the Union Jack was carried into the crematorium past lines of fellow servicemen. Kevin proudly wore the medals his dad earned after serving with the army in Jordan and during the Suez Crisis.
For over 30 years Eddie volunteered and sold poppies with the Royal British Legion, whose flag he would also carry at Remembrance parades. Showing the many photos of his dad doing just that, Kevin said: “This was my dad and what he loved to do.”
Eddie loved sheepdog training too, and was an honorary member at the Retford Sheepdog Trials. This stemmed from his early days working on farms. His longest job was as a forklift driver at Vacu-Lug, where he worked for 26 years.
Originating from Misterton, Eddie moved to Grantham in his teens. “My parents met on the High Street,” said Kevin. “My dad called her ‘blondie’ and said ‘I’d like to get you on a slow boat to China’. They got married at St Wulfram’s Church. He adored my mum.”
Sadly about 20 years ago Eddie lost his other son Clive, and soon after his wife Audrey. He remained at their home on Queensway, and was very close to Kevin and his wife Julie, seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
“He was a good father,” adds Kevin. “When we were kids if we went out with him while he was driving in the cold, he’d put his army coat around us to keep us warm.”