Legion branch President

President of the Rathfriland branch of the Royal British Legion, Thomas Victor Eaton died recently at Rathfriland Manor Nursing Home.

Thomas, or Vicky as he was affectionately known had received the British Empire Medal.

He passed away on Monday, June 2.

He was married to Molly who died on August 19, 2005 and three years ago his son Brian also died.

Vicky, the son of the late Albert and Nettie Eaton, was brought up in the Ballyward district and attended school at Gargory.

He worked on a mobile shop for Thomas Bell of Ballyward, Desmond Davenport Rathfriland and John Savage Rathfriland.

He was a member of the Royal British Legion Rathfriland Branch and President for the past 27 years.

He was a member of the Old Comrades Association Rathfriland and was a member of TierFergus LOL 575.

He was also part of the Home Guard, B Specials and the Ulster Defence Regiment of which he was a Staff Sergeant.

Among his many interests included Formula One Racing, Motor Rallying, Motorcycle Racing, vintage vehicles and shooting,

He is survived by his son Wallace (Ballynahinch), daughters Mrs. Norma McNeill (Banbridge) and Mrs. Janet McKinstry (Rathfriland) and sister Mrs. Gwen McDowell (Rathfriland).

The Legion Standard was carried in front of the hearse the coffin had the Union flag draped over it. Members of the Royal British Legion acted as Pall Bearers.

The legion formed a guard of honour at Drumgooland Presbyterian Church where Rev. Michael Davidson paid a fitting tribute to Vicky’s life.

The hymns ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’ and ‘How Deep the Father’s Love for Us’ were sung.

Mrs. Nan Mulhall presided at the organ. The interment took place in Ballyward Parish Churchyard.

The Legion Members recording their final tribute with the dropping of poppies and the reciting of ‘They Shall Grow Not Old’.

The family wreath and legion poppy wreath was placed on the grave. Rev. Davidson was officiating. Donations in lieu are being sent to William Bell and Co. Funeral Directors, 23 Kenlis Street, Banbridge, BT32 3LR for Rathfriland Manor Shannon Suite.

Funeral arrangements were made by William Bell and Co.