Pubs chip in for funeral
PUBLISHED: 14:59 14 March 2007 | UPDATED: 12:18 04 May 2010
KIND-HEARTED regulars at three Soham pubs have dug deep into their pockets to help pay for the funeral of the town s Royal British Legion chairman Peter Brazier. In just four days, they donated £900 after a three-eek search failed to find sergeant major B
KIND-HEARTED regulars at three Soham pubs have dug deep into their pockets to help pay for the funeral of the town's Royal British Legion chairman Peter Brazier.
In just four days, they donated £900 after a three-eek search failed to find sergeant major Brazier's family.
Customers at The Red Lion, The Cherry Tree and The Ship handed over the cash after Mr Brazier's boss Dave Smith promised to handle the funeral arrangements.
He was adamant that, despite no family to pick up the bill, Mr Brazier would be buried in style, and he has pledged to make up any cash shortfall.
"Peter knew I would put him to rest in the right way and in a good way," said Dave, who runs Surrey and Soham-based Specified Roofing Services. "He had no contact with his family and I definitely didn't want him to have a basic state funeral.
"Peter was a close friend of the family. He loved my children and would come round at the weekends and bring them colouring books."
Mr Brazier, 62, was found hanging at his home in Brook Dam Lane, Soham on February 18.
His body was discovered by Mr Smith who had gone to his flat to check on him.
Mr Brazier was a past president of Soham Royal British Legion and Parade Marshall and had served part of his army career in Germany.
But an extensive search for his two daughters and son failed to find anyone who could handle his funeral and finally responsibility was accepted by Mr Smith
"Peter had worked for me as a driver until Christmas," said Mr Smith. "We were really close. After a day at work we would sit and have a pint, and he would look after my house when I went on holiday. He was so trustworthy.
"He told me at Christmas that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and he didn't come back to work.
"I would keep an eye on him, taking him food and giving him some money for beer."
Just hours after Mr Smith discovered it would cost around £2,000 to bury his friend, Soham's Red Lion publican, Les Legate, offered to help and posters were displayed around the pub asking for donations.
"Peter was a regular customer here," said Mr Legate. "He was a Chelsea supporter and would come in and watch football. He was a nice enough bloke and the majority of people speak well of him."
Pub regulars have handed over £400 and the fund has been topped up by customers at The Cherry Tree and The Ship.
The Ship publican, Tony Parramint, said: "We raised £135 from a raffle and have managed to collect just over £300 in total.
"Peter was a very, very valued customer and we thought very highly of him. We will carry on collecting. Everybody is doing their bit to help.