Funeral with full honours for ex-soldier

Funeral of Blackpool soldier Frank Browning at Carleton Cemetary and Crematorium
Funeral of Blackpool soldier Frank Browning at Carleton Cemetary and Crematorium
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Dozens of mourners paid their own tributes at the funeral of a former Blackpool soldier who served during the Second World War.

Family and friends remembered the life of Frank Browning, 94, at Carleton Crematorium yesterday.

Frank Browning, Blackpool soldier

Frank Browning, Blackpool soldier

Mr Browning is believed to be one of the last surviving members of the Lancashire Fusiliers, serving in Malta and Italy between 1941 and 1945.

He died on July 12 following a battle with bowel cancer.

At an emotional service, Father Martin Murray led the tributes to the war hero.

He said: “Today is not a day to be mournful.

“Today is a day of celebration and reflection on Frank’s 94 years with us and the days he had on this earth.

“Today is a day to celebrate. To his family – you have a lifetime of memories – cherish those memories.”

More than 100 mourners packed into the venue, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackpool, Coun Peter Callow and Coun Maxine Callow, and ex-servicemen from various Armed Forces, who acted as standard bearer.

As well as readings, music was played, including You’ll Never Walk Alone, the Last Post, Bring Him Home and We’ll Meet Again.

Paying tribute to the former joiner, Father Murray added: “He was a small man with a big heart.

“He had a glint in his eye and admired the ladies – even in his nursing home, all the way up to his passing.

“When Frank was still alive he was still a flirt. Frank loved horses and enjoyed a flutter.

“His favourite jockey was AP McCoy. He liked gardening and a social drink. He was also good with the one -liners.”

Towards the end of the service, Father Murray invited applause for Mr Browning, a man “who has lived for so many of us and given so much for his country, for his family and for his friends.”

Fighting on the front line in Malta and Italy in the Second World War

Mr Browning served in Malta between 1941 to 1944, as well as Italy in 1945, where he was left with injuries to his arm and eyebrow following a shrapnel explosion.

Mr Browning signed up to fight as part of the 11th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers in 1940.

He was stationed in Malta but in July 1944 the unit disbanded and transferred to the 66th Infantry Brigade, serving alongside the 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots, a regular unit, and 1st Battalion, Hertfordshire Regiment, a territorial unit.

The brigade became part of 1st Infantry Division which was serving in the Italian Campaign, where it took part in the fighting on the Gothic Line, suffering severe casualties. After the war ended in 1945 Mr Browning remained in the Army until 1947.