A 98-year-old former soldier from Leeds laid to rest

23 February 2019, 06:00

Benjamin Boocock

A 98-year-old former soldier from Leeds is being laid to rest with military honours at his funeral this morning.

Former Sergeant Benjamin Boocock, from Bramhope, is the last surviving member of his regiment - the West Riding Gunners.

He was born in Ireland in 1920 to a military family, but moved back to Leeds.

He left school at 14 and became a bricklayer, and helped build the Brotherton Library at Leeds University.

In 1938 he joined the Territorial Army, and joined the 69 (West Riding) field regiment royal artillery.

Benjamin Boocock 2

He was called up to serve in World War II, and fought in various campaigns all over the world, finishing in Burma.

He is the last surviving member out of all the people he knew from his regiment, and made sure that they were all buried with at least a Union flag on their coffins when they died.

He was worried that as he was the last survivor, he wouldn't get the same thing, so a campaign was started to make sure he was given a military funeral.

Normally military honours are reserved for people who die whilst serving in the forces.

It's been orgnised by the 269 West Riding Battery.

Hundreds of people are expected at St John's Church in Adel this morning.

He'll be carried to the church on a gun carriage, with a Union flag, his hat, medals and a wreath.

The Last Post will be played and there'll be a two minute silence.

He's survived by his wife, two sons, a daughter, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.