‘Overwhelming’ turnout at Morecambe funeral of Falklands hero

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Four hundred people turned out to bid farewell to a brave veteran of the Falklands War.

Ronnie Duffy’s funeral in Morecambe saw a huge turnout of fellow ex-paratroopers and members of other Forces groups who wanted to pay their respects.

Ronnie Duffy.

Ronnie Duffy.

It was an overwhelming day for Ronnie’s family from Scotland who did not expect such a massive send off.

Pete Neaves, secretary of the Morecambe and District branch of the Parachute Regimental Association, received a letter from Ronnie’s cousin Frank in Glasgow after the funeral.

He described the day as “one of the most overwhelming I’ve ever had”.

”A day which should have been so sad actually turned out to be a great celebration of Ron’s life.

“We thought it would be a quite quiet send off for Ron. Oh how wrong we were!

“The turnout of comrades and friends for Ron’s farewell from this earth was truly unbelievable. We were all so greatly touched. Never before I have witnessed so much military insignia.

“A display of comradeship, brotherhood, respect and love for each other that I witnessed today cannot, in my opinion, be equalled by any other organisation on Earth whether military or not.”

Ronnie was a member of 3 Para who landed on the Falklands and then fought in the Battle of Mount Longdon on June 11 and 12 1982, which resulted in British forces capturing a key position around the Argentinian garrison.

Fellow ex-parachute regiment soldiers from 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment (3 Para) attended the funeral at at St Mary’s Church in Morecambe.

There were eight military and association standards in attendance, five from the North West branches of the Parachute Regiment Association, the Royal Marines Standard, the Royal British Legion standard and the South Atlantic Standard which represented those who fought in the Falklands campaign.

There was also a Scottish piper who piped the coffin in and out of the church and during the service a bugler played the Last Post followed by a minute’s silence.

There were also several members of the Kings Own Scottish Borderers where Ronnie spent time before joining the Paras.

Ronnie was a popular figure in the Eric Bartholomew Wetherspoon’s pub in town.

Staff and customers plan to mark his passing by naming a guest ale after him.