December 5 2013 Latest news:
Beth Wyatt, Reporter
Saturday, October 12, 2013
A Second World War hero, who served as an RAF fighter pilot aged just 15, was laid to rest on Thursday.
Cedric Drinkwater, 88, of Chase Cross Road, died on October 1.
He was an active member of the North Romford Community Centre, Collier Row, and was part of a Havering street care committee.
Cedric’s loved ones came together at the centre at 9.45am before a private family funeral at noon at the Forest Park Crematorium, Hainault.
His daugher Anne, who has a brother Clive, said: “He is much loved and missed by his family and, as I listen to people speak about him, they say how he had very high integrity and would do anything for anyone. He was always willing to help people.”
Cedric, who is survived by his wife Joyce, lived in Romford for most of his life.
He fought in Burma during the Second World War and was also a keen pilot in peacetime.
Cllr Denis O’Flynn, who worked with Cedric for Ford from the 1960s until 1979, said he managed to enlist in the RAF as his height meant he could pass for someone much older.
He said: “Cedric was a manager that the men trusted and he was a gentleman, a very fair man to work with.
“When the Americans took over, they didn’t like Cedric and there was a rumour he was going to be fired.
“But the men decided they would walk out in support of him – that is how highly he was thought of.
“I feel privileged to have worked with him and to have known him.
“I don’t think we will see another Cedric Drinkwater in our lifetime.”
Anne added: “He gave people a lot of confidence and believed that people were basically honest.
“He was someone who gave you a lot of confidence that you should try things, take risks and do what you wanted to do with your life.”
A 41-year-old man has been stabbed at an address in Harold Hill.