Funeral to be held for Eastbourne veteran with no known relatives

The highlight of John's year was selling poppies in Eastbourne
The highlight of John's year was selling poppies in Eastbourne

A funeral is to be held for an “absolute gentleman” Eastbourne veteran with no known relatives.

The funeral of John Redvers Barrett will be at Eastbourne Crematorium on Wednesday (September 11) at 12pm.

Said to never be seen without a collar and tie, the highlight of John’s year was selling poppies in Eastbourne, according to his solicitor.

He died on August 11, aged 91, after living a full life.

Born August 7, 1928, John was enlisted into the West Yorkshire Regimental Band in 1942 aged 14.

He was based in Vienna, Austria for five years from 1948. He was a French horn player and some of his duties included changing of the guard and parades, and he was involved in a massed band beating of the retreat with the East Yorkshire band in the Schoennbrunn Palace.

Then in 1955 he joined the Royal Signals Staff Band and would play at Eastbourne Bandstand five times a year. He served a total of 30 years in the British Army. Because of his discharge date, he never received an Army pension.

His only known relative is a sister but his solicitor has been unable to trace her. The solicitor, who is organising the funeral, knew him for a number of years and described him as an “absolute gentleman”.

He lived in a care home and she said he once told her that his life after leaving the Army was insignificant.

John requested his coffin be draped with the Union Flag.