Funeral of Bill Stone on BBC news channel 1430 29 Jan

Fantastic eulogy from the son-in-law. Very moving
Indeed, you'd think he did it every day.

I used to live in Watlington, and my kids knew him. They were genuinely very sad when they heard he'd died - he'd been to their school several times to talk about the Poppy Appeal.
Another thing I hadn't realised. While serving in the Halcyon Class minesweeper HMS Salamander, he was a survivor of the RAF Typhoon rocket attack on 27 Aug 1944 which sank HMS Britomart and HMS Hussar off the French coast with terrible loss of life and seriously damaged his own ship (link).
Bearing the coffin at St Leonard's church in Watlington were six Royal Navy personnel, paying tribute to Mr Stone's long military career.

Behind the coffin Leading Logistician Jon Ryder, who accompanied Mr Stone at the 90th Anniversary of the Great War Armistice at the Cenotaph in November 2008, carried William's many medals on a cushion.

These included the British War Medal for his service in the First World War and, from the Second World War, the Atlantic Star, the Africa Star and the 1939-1945 War Medal decorated with an oak leaf for 'Mentioned in Despatches'.

Standard Bearers from The Royal Navy, The Royal Naval Association, The Royal British Legion, HMS Hood Association and The Dunkirk Veterans Association processed before the hearse to the church.

During the first hymn, 'Praise My Soul the King of Heaven', Mr Stone's great-grandchildren Sophie Davidson and Annabel Powell, both aged two, laid flowers on his coffin. Mr Stone's son-in-law, Mr Michael Davidson, led the tributes during the service. The Venerable John Green QHC, Chaplain of the Fleet, gave the Address.

After the coffin was carried out of the church to the tune of 'Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye', a Royal Marines bugler sounded the Last Post and Reveille and the church bell was tolled 108 times, one for each year of Mr Stone's life.

William's daughter Anne Davidson said:

"It was wonderful to see so many of William's old friends from both Watlington, where he lived for twenty years, and from all the organisations to which he belonged. William would have been truly delighted. He had an amazingly long and happy life.

"We would like to thank all those who sent the hundreds of kind messages from all over the country and many other parts of the world."

Commodore Al Rymer of the Royal Navy represented the Ministry of Defence at the funeral. He said:

"William Stone served in the Royal Navy for 27 years in a distinguished career that involved him in both World Wars. I'm very honoured to represent the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy today in commemorating his remarkable life. His life is an inspiration to us all."

Other attendees at the funeral were Vice Admiral Sir Barry Wilson KCB, who read at the service and also represented the HMS Newfoundland Association, Mrs Lavinia Newton and Air Vice Marshal Barry Newton who represented the 'Not Forgotten' Association, and the Lord-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, Timothy Stevenson OBE, who represented HRH The Duchess of Gloucester, Patron of the World War One Veterans Association


Lantern Swinger
Unfortunately I was away for this funeral but I agree with the words of Commander Keith Evans. It was a privilege to have known Bill.


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