WINTERBURN: Thomas

Died 6 July 2008, aged 94: Thomas Edwin Winterburn, born in 1914 the youngest of three children, was the son of George Green Winterburn, the lamp-lighter for Sandal and Newmillerdam. He went to Sandal Endowed School before joining the army as a boy, starting in the Royal Horse Artillery. Military service saw him pull the gun carriage at the funeral of King George VI at Windsor in 1952. His career in the army also led him to meet comedians Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, who later formed The Goons. Mr Winterburn wrote material for their comic routines for servicemen’s entertainment.

When he worked in a power station after the war he also volunteered for St John Ambulance – a passion to which he dedicated 30 years of his life. In July 1988 he was invested as a serving brother of the Order of St John at a ceremony at the Grand Priory Church, London. He went to live Somerset but never lost his love for Newmillerdam, visiting until well into his 80s and returning in 2006 after his wife died. He died on July 6 at Deansgate Care Home, Mapplewell, aged 94. He was given one last tour of his beloved village as part of the funeral procession, after which a service was held at Chapelthorpe Church, Wakefield.

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