Search

Hundreds expected at funeral for decorated war vet being held today in Collier Row

11:02 26 September 2013

Leslie John Norris receiving his Civic Award from former Mayor of Havering Lynden Thorpe

Leslie John Norris receiving his Civic Award from former Mayor of Havering Lynden Thorpe

Archant

The funeral for a highly decorated war veteran who founded an air squadron and spent his life helping others is being held today at noon.

Leslie Norris, 86, of Defoe Way, Collier Row received the British Empire Medal for his services to the 444 Squadron of the Air Training Corps which he founded in 1941.

Hundreds of people, including flag bearers and the Mayor of Havering Eric Munday are due to attended the service at the Parish Church of the Ascension, Collier Row Road, Collier Row.

During the Second World War, Mr Norris served in Burma and later at a prisoner of war camp in Borneo and was involved with the administration of the Japanese War Crimes tribunal.

His son Ian Norris said the death of his father, who always had time and a joke for everyone, had left a huge void in their family.

Ian, 51, of Dagenham, said: “Everywhere he went he got involved. He was always telling jokes and he was the sort of person you would stand behind the queue of in Asda and you’d be put on the Christmas card list. He was never one to sit still and did lots of charity and voluntary work.”

Mr Norris married his wife Joyce, who died almost exactly six years ago, in 1952 at a church in Shoreditch and the couple renewed their vows exactly 50 years later.

Mr Norris worked all his life at the Smithfield Meat Market in the City of London and in his spare time volunteered for St John Ambulance becoming the president of the Harold Hill and Wood division in 1971.

He was awarded the Mayor’s Civic Award in April this year for his years of volunteering and service to the borough.

Six weeks ago he was diagnosed with stomach cancer and died on September 4.

“You always know that your parents are going to die but it’s still devastating,” Ian said. “He died in his own home like he wanted to but it’s left a big void.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

46 minutes ago
Father Christmas, who has taken time out of his busy schedule at this time of year to be interviewed by Emma Lake from the Romford Recorder (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

It’s a busy time of year for Father Christmas – looking after 600 excitable elves putting who are putting finishing touches to millions of toys to be dropped into the stockings of sleeping children in just six days time.

09:00
The princesses were on hand to save the day

Children who were worried their dreams would never come true had their wishes granted at the weekend when they met Disney princesses.

Yesterday, 15:00
Mayor of havering, Cllr Linda Trew comissioned Havering College of Further and Higher Education,  students to create a float. for the New Year’s Day Parade,

The mayor of Havering will dazzle spectators of the New Year’s Day Parade as she travels through the streets of London in a vintage steam train and carriage thanks to Havering College construction students.

Yesterday, 12:00
Christmas jumpers raised enough to build a classroom for less fortunate children

As term came to a close and the ho-ho-holidays were due to start one school allowed its lucky pupils to really get into the festive spirit.

Most read news

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

News from your area

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

Twinkle, twinkle you little stars – thanks for making your homes so festive.

Offers for university places are at a record high.