On Wednesday 17th February everyone said a sad, fond farewell at a graveside service in Richmond Cemetery for James ‘Jimmy’ Ashdown, aged 92, who had been a Resident at HC-One’s Fieldway care home, in Mitcham, for nearly 13 years.
Guy Muir, Head of Occupancy, attended the service on behalf of HC-One, at the kind request of the family, having got to know Jimmy over the last few years.
Mr Ashdown had served in the Parachute Regiment and is renowned for his tribute, at aged 55, to Regimental Sergeant Major Lord (RSML), when he walked the 30 miles from his home in London, to a service at his RSML’s graveside at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. With no tent or can opener, but an umbrella and tarpaulin to sleep on for his overnight stop. At the graveside Jimmy donned his Parachute Regiment red beret and paid his respects with offerings of a wreath and red rose, as a mark of respect to the late RSML.
Guy repeated the event, by attending and wearing his red beret at Jimmy’s service. Guy is also 55 years old, but had not walked to the service or slept overnight by the roadside as Jimmy had done. Guy laid red roses at the Paratrooper’s graveside on behalf of the Residents Colleagues at Fieldway care home.
Guy commented: “The service was beautifully conducted and the final music as they left the service was the theme tune from ‘A Bridge Too Far’. This was very fitting and James would have been extremely proud of his family and friends for arranging such a good send off on his final mission.”
“Our thoughts are with his beloved wife, Pamela, loving daughter, Lesley-Ann, and all the family at this sad time.”