The Last Post was played by a trumpeter of the Band of the Royal Air Force College, as the funeral of a great Buckingham lady came to an end.
The well-attended funeral of much-loved Buckingham resident Peggy Dale MBE took place at St Peter and St Paul’s Church on Tuesday morning.
Mrs Dale, who died suddenly this month at the age of 90, was a former town and district councillor, former town mayor and former president of the Buckingham & District Royal British Legion.
Peggy Dale joined the WAAF in 1942 and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force in 1960, reaching the rank of Squadron Leader.
In 1946, she was seconded to the Home Office and sent out to Germany, to serve with the Central Controlling Commission for Germany.
She was awarded the MBE in 1964.
The coffin of Squadron Leader Dale, draped in the Union Flag and decorated with her medals, was escorted to the doors of the parish church by representatives of the Royal British Legion, the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, the RAF Police Association and the Buckingham Air Cadet Corps.
After being borne into the church through a guard of standards, the coffin was placed before the altar, accompanied by a wreath bearing the WAAF logo.
The guard of honour included representatives of the Buckingham & District Royal British Legion, the Dunstable and City of London branches of the RAF Association and the London and Home Counties branch of the RAF Police Association.
The service was taken by rector of Buckingham Will Pearson-Gee, with Mrs Dale’s close friend Alan Brooks giving the eulogy.
Mr Brooks, who described himself as one of her “surrogate sons”, said: “She was 100 per cent committed to whatever role she volunteered herself for, but she was also committed to God, to the realm, and the nation, to the Air Force and to the people of Buckingham and her friends.”
A member of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force gave an address on behalf of Mrs Dale’s former commanding officer, Group Captain L.E. Robins.
MP John Bercow read a poem by Mrs Dale and shared his fond recollections of her.
Mayor of Buckingham Ruth Newell gave the reading and the prayers were led by area dean Ron Bundock.
The president of Buckingham Royal British Legion, Col Mike Vince MBE, read the Exhortation: “They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
“Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.
“At the going down of the sun, and in the morning
“We will remember them.”
The sounding of the Last Post, followed by a minute’s silence and then Reveille, signalled the end of the funeral, and the coffin was carried out, on its way to a private committal at Crownhill Crematorium.
Mourners gathered for refreshments at the Old Town Hall, where a display of old photographs and items relating to Mrs Dale’s life were on display, including a book hand made for her by German female police officers she was responsble for training after the Second World War.