Son's touching tribute: 'My father fought with passion for that in which he believed'
- Credit: Family
Littleport resident and long-time local community volunteer, Francis Brown passed away suddenly on January 20, in Addenbrooke’s Hospital aged 75 years.
Francis, better known as Frank, has spent much of his adult life working tirelessly for and in the communities in which he lived.
In 1964 he joined the Cambridgeshire Constabulary as a Special Constable, continuing this volunteer role for 35 years when he retired from his post as divisional officer. During this time, he walked the beat in Ely, Littleport and surrounding areas.
He created boat watch, which then became part of countryside watch after his retirement, and represented the police force at the Cenotaph, in London, the year before his retirement, which he always considered the pinnacle of his police career.
Not wanting to fade away from public service, he joined the parish council in Littleport soon after, working within the community on various parish projects.
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He felt his final achievement before leaving the council was being instrumentally involved in securing the reduced speed limit on Branch Bank.
After this, he continued to work on the committee of Littleport Village Hall, and provide support, knowledge and aid to those of the community that were in need.
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He also supported his son Nick in running the Littleport Christian Spiritualists.
He worked full time, first as a taxi driver, a lorry driver, then stoker in the boiler house at the former RAF Hospital in Ely.
Then, after a short time with Cambridge City Council, the Environment Agency until he retired at 65 years old, continuing part-time working on the forecourt of the BP in Ely, then owned by James Graven & Sons.
Francis is survived by wife Linda, daughter Sharon and her husband Paul, son Nick and his partner Nigel, two grandchildren Tiffany and Cassandra, and great-granddaughter Grace.
In the days following his passing, the family say they have been deeply touched by the outpouring of personal tributes made to Francis.
The family says the support was not just for his public service, but for the personal touches and approach Francis used to those whom he would help and support, even outside of and of his official roles.
The family say they were touched to hear Francis described as a ‘Littleport legend’.
His children have followed him into the family tradition of service of others, with Sharon working as a head of care nurse in brain injury rehabilitation.
Her two children Tiffany and Cassandra work as nursery practitioners in childcare, and his son, a voluntary suffragan bishop, with the New Christian Spiritualists Society.
But this is not the only legacy Francis’ family wish for him.
In these difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic, much is said on social media and the news that the NHS has ‘all but given up’ on anything not related to the coronavirus.
“This could not be any further from the truth based on what we experienced and witnessed first-hand in Addenbrookes hospital,” said his son Nick.
Francis suffered from internal bleeding and his condition was completely unrelated to Covid-19.
“I would like at this time to personally thank every single member of the team at Addenbrooke’s who had been involved with his fight.
“They never gave up on him, they fought alongside him as friends and allies, and gave him dignity, and time.”
He said: “The respect, commitment and effort provided, as well as the compassion, cannot, will not, and should never be denied. To those compassionate souls, we as a family owe you a great debt.”
Nick said: “My father fought with passion and tirelessly for that in which he believed, the people he cared for and for his family.
“It is his family who believes that it would be his wish as his final ‘public service message’ to his community, to let people know that those angels without wings in the NHS most certainly have not given up on anything or anyone.”