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A hero's send-off for one of the last-surviving Second World War paratroopers


Dozens of veterans gave a hero's send-off to one of Britain's last-surviving Second World War paratroopers after a desperate plea by his family to attend his funeral.

Trailblazing Herbert 'Herbie' Samuel Bray, from Mullion, Cornwall, died in October, aged 97.

His grandson, Jordan Jane, 26, had asked veterans to attend and described the former Para as a 'remarkable man and soldier' whose life 'served the country'.

Herbert's funeral took place at Mullion Parish Church after a procession, with serving and former personnel, wearing their uniforms and medals, among those turning out to pay their respects.

Mr Bray joined the war in 1944 aged 18, after his brother Billy was killed in action, going on to serve at the Rhine crossing and then in Palestine as a paratrooper.

Paying tribute to Herbie, Jordan told mourners: 'We lost a great man, the strongest man I've ever met, a Second World War paratrooper...Grandad Herbie will always be in my heart, my absolute hero.'

Six standards flew in honour of the Second World War hero as the funeral procession made its way to the local church.

His casket was adorned with the flag of the Parachute Regiment, with Herbie's medals and his iconic maroon beret resting on top.

A guard of honour lined up outside the church saluted the war hero as he passed them.

Herbie had lived in the village most of his life and had captained Mullion Football Club after returning home from service.

Tom French, of the Cornwall branch of the Parachute Regiment, said: 'He was Cornish through and through. He was just a really nice unassuming fella.'

The veteran's funeral comes days before Britain unites to honour its fallen military heroes for Remembrance Sunday, this week.

The Parachute Regiment were formed in 1942 as Britain's way of dropping elite troops behind German lines.

The 'Paras' earned their reputation for daring during missions in North Africa, Normandy, Arnhem the Rhine crossing.

Since then, the regiment has served in almost every other war Britain has been involved in.