Guard formed for fireman

PUBLISHED: 11:58 12 October 2007 | UPDATED: 23:06 28 May 2010

FIREMEN formed a guard of honour at the funeral of retired March fireman John William (Jack) Bird. They stood outside St John s Church as the coffin draped in the Union Flag was led in by a British Legion standard bearer. Afterwards a fire engine led the

FIREMEN formed a guard of honour at the funeral of retired March fireman John William (Jack) Bird.

They stood outside St John's Church as the coffin draped in the Union Flag was led in by a British Legion standard bearer.

Afterwards a fire engine led the cortege from the church to Eastwood Cemetery.

The church was full for the service for 84-year-old Mr Bird, who died at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, after a short illness.

Mr Bird was born in Peterborough, but his family moved to March when he was a schoolboy. He had lived in the town since then.

He met his future wife, Grace, when he was 16, but they were separated when he had to spend four years in Burma with the army.

The couple were married in December 1945 when Mr Bird was lucky enough to be given leave after his name was pulled out of a hat. Another soldier from March, Hubert Fenn, also had leave and was best man for the wedding at St Mary's Church. Mr Bird had to return to Burma shortly after the wedding.

When he returned to March, he set up his own building business in Shaftsbury Avenue. He joined the fire service as a retained fireman in the town and when he retired after 21 years he was sub-officer at March Fire Station. Mr Bird continued to work until he was 78.

The couple have one daughter, Maureen, two grandchildren, four great grand children and three step grandchildren.

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