ONE of the few remaining Normandy Veterans in Wiltshire was laid to rest today at the West Wiltshire Crematorium after a funeral procession through the centre of Trowbridge.

Standards were lowered and military personnel saluted while spectators applauded as the hearse carrying veteran Bob Conway made a slow journey past the Town Hall.

Scores of people joined army veterans in the centre of Trowbridge as the funeral procession made its way through the town headed by Royal British Legion bikers.

Normandy Veteran Bob, a well-known Trowbridge resident, took part in the town’s annual Remembrance Day Parade and Service and attended the yearly Wiltshire Armed Forces Celebration events in the Town Park.

He served as chairman of the Wiltshire Branch of the Normandy Veterans Association and in a civilian capacity with the 2196 Squadron Air Training Corps based in Trowbridge.

As Bob was so well-known and respected, a large number of people wished to pay their last respects to Mr Conway as he undertook his final journey to the West Wiltshire Crematorium at Semington.

Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic rules meant that a large number of mourners was not allowed at the crematorium because of the need to maintain social distancing.

His family developed an alternative plan to allow people the opportunity to pay their respects in Trowbridge town centre as the funeral hearse made its way to the crematorium.

Westbury-based funeral directors Arthur Mays mapped out a designated route through Trowbridge.

The hearse carrying Mr Conway travelled along Wicker Hill, following the one-way system up Hill Street into Conigre and then proceeding along Church Street, through its full length with people lining its route, turning right into Silver Street and onwards into Market Street.

On leaving Market Street, the hearse resumed normal road speeds and travelled by the best route to the A361 and the West Wiltshire Crematorium.

There, the hearse was met by Warbikes, a re-enactment group of dispatch riders, celebrating the part that Bob once played in the Second World War.

Standards were lowered as the hearse stopped at the crematorium doors, where soldiers from the 9th Regiment of Royal Logistic Corps assembled to carry the coffin inside preceded by the Spirit of Normandy Standard.

The Covid distance service taken by Richard Palusinski, chairman of the Spirit of Normandy Trust, with the limitation of 30 guests as outlined by recent Covid regulations.