MOVING FUNERAL FOR THE DUKE

A MOVING memorial service for the Duke of Devonshire was attended by hundreds of friends, relatives and dignitaries yesterday in London.

The Duke, who owned Compton Place and a great deal of land in Eastbourne, died on May 3.

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles were among the mourners at the hour-long service at the Wellington Barracks in London – but they did not sit together.

The spectacular Guard Chapel was packed with more than 400 people.

Rev Andrew Totten led the service.

He said, 'We are gathered here today to thank God for the life of Andrew Robert Buxton Cavendish and to remember especially his love and loyalty to his family and friends.

'Also we remember his gratitude to and appreciation of all who worked for him, his dedication to his country and generosity to his fellow men.'

Mr Totten also paid tribute to the Duke's 'brilliant sense of humour, independence of mind, and constant and uncomplaining nature'.

He also spoke of his courage throughout his life, especially during the Second World War and in coping with his failing eyesight and health.

The 11th Duke of Devonshire went to Eton and Cambridge before joining the Coldstream Guards.

He fought in Italy in the last war and received an MC.

His brother William, who was first in line for the title, was killed in action.

Andrew took over the title in 1950 when his father died.

At yesterday's memorial service, a British song medley was played by the band.

Pieces included Good Night Sweetheart, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square, You Are My Sunshine, The Last Time I Saw Paris, Underneath the Arches and Bye Bye Blackbird.

Colonel of the Coldstream Guards, General Sir Michael Rose, gave a reading of Ecclesiastes, Chapter Three.

Eastbourne mayor Cllr Barbara Goodall read the poem, Sussex, by Rudyard Kipling.

A third reading was given by Hamish Leslie Melville, a former trustee of the Chatsworth Settlement.

Prince Charles, who was accompanied only by an aide, sat for most of the service with his head in his hand.

He, Camilla Parker-Bowles and the Duke were close friends.

As Mr Totten ended the funeral, some members of the congregation had tears in their eyes while remembering the man who had a 'tremendous personality'.

Other Eastbourne dignitaries included MP Nigel Waterson, past mayor Cllr Michael Tunwell, and chairman of the county council Cllr Daphne Bagshawe.

Former Eastbourne Borough Council tourism chief Ron Cussons was also present, along with the chairmen of numerous Eastbourne societies and clubs and governors from Eastbourne College.

The Duke was listed as the fourth richest person in Sussex with a fortune of 500million.

In 1941 he married Hon Deborah Mitford.

He leaves three children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.