Funeral of RAF war veteran Peter Brown postponed after crowds expected
The Ham & High reported last week that most of the seats at Mortlake Crematorium for Flt Sgt Peter Brown’s funeral had already been allocated.
But now, organisers have confirmed that the service for the Maida Vale resident will no longer take place at the venue today (March 29).
Westminster Council said that details of the future date and location are yet to be finalised, but would be announced as soon as possible.
The authority added that it was hoping to secure a venue closer to Flt Sgt Brown’s home in Warrington Crescent.
Organisers became overwhelmed by requests to attend his send-off after an appeal for mourners when the 96-year-old died alone with no known family.
In a statement posted to its website, Westminster Council said: “A change in venue will ensure a service which reflects the many different elements of Mr Brown’s life can be held. We believe this will be more dignified and respectful.
“This decision has not been taken lightly. We know that people are very passionate about this and we are truly sorry to those whose plans to attend have been scuppered.
“But it became clear that the chapel simply will not hold the large number of the public who are expected to turn up.
“It has also been important to consider the potential disruption large crowds would cause to other funerals either side of Mr Brown’s ceremony.”
Born in Jamaica in 1926, Sgt Brown enlisted in the RAF Volunteer Reserve in September 1943.
He trained as a wireless operator/air gunner and was posted to RAF Scampton.
After the war ended he re-enlisted in the RAF, working as a signaller.
An RAF spokesperson said that we should “never forget” the sacrifices made by RAF personnel like Flt Sgt Brown.
They added: “Flight Sergeant Brown is an example of the selfless contribution of all Commonwealth personnel who have served throughout the RAF’s history.
“We should never forget their sacrifices which have defended our freedom and kept us safe.”