Tributes paid to Banbury man who served his community and country
Tributes were paid to a Banbury man who served his country and his community at a moving memorial service last week.
A moving send off ceremony was held at the Banbury Crematorium in Southam Road, Banbury to remember Michael Brown, aged 84, on Friday February 26.
Michael served his country as a Grenadier Guardsman in the mid to late 1950s and in 1957 was included in ‘Trooping of the Colour.’ He went on to serve more than 30 years with a local business Smiths Concrete.
The Banbury area funeral directors, Edd Frost & Daughters, posted a moving tribute on its Facebook page called 'Goodbye to a Grenadier and Mr Concrete', which included a video of his final journey to the crematorium led by a Smiths Concrete Cement Mixer.
The tribute from Edd Frost & Daughters said: "Such a special send off last week to a man who served his country and guarded the royals during his time as a Grenadier Guard at Buckingham Palace and Windsor and also Trooped the Colour.
"This gentleman went onto serve Smiths Concrete for over 30 years when, during his time, oversaw the completion of the A34 and M40.
"The high regard this gentleman had with his former Guardsman saw several ex-serving guards attend his funeral service together with directors of Smiths Concrete who also very kindly arranged for one of the many lorries, that he would have sent out over the years, to lead his final journey to the crematorium.
"This gentleman’s loving family stood proud as we all said goodbye in the manner that he would have so approved of.
"To see the back row of ex-guards in attendance at the service gain an extra few inches as we all stood for the national anthem during the service was just as spectacular as this gentleman’s life story.
"A remarkable man who leaves a family devastated at his passing, but so proud to be a part of what he has left behind.
"A lovely example to show that during such difficult times, funerals can still be so special."
Michael passed away peacefully on February 3, at The Horton General Hospital surrounded by his loving family.
Michael married his wife, Brenda, on Saturday September 24, 1960 in Oxford. The couple have two sons, Julian Mark Brown and Reuben Michael Brown, and four grandchildren Poppy May Brown, Felix Mason Brown, Eleanor Darcy Brown and Grace Emily Brown.
Michael, who served as an operations manager at Smiths Concrete Banbury, was also previously featured in the Banbury Guardian after he was recognised by Smiths Concrete with a Long Service Award in 1988.
Michael and his wife have always been a part of their community and would often volunteer to help out when and where they could.
He often volunteered to help with the Valley Road Greenhills Estate street party events in town and the 6th Banbury Cub Scouts.
His son, Reuben, said: "He also was very much part of our Banburyshire sports and social community playing cricket for Bodicote, helping out and supporting boys football at North Aston Boys Football Club and even sponsoring and employing some of Banbury rugby players to name a few.
"He touched many local's hearts with his sense of humour and firm but fair attitude towards work and life."