MUCH-LOVED Pershore stalwarts will be remembered by family and friends and honoured with memorial benches in the town’s cemetery.
Ted Annis, former town councillor and founder of the Pershore and District Royal Naval Association and Social Club, and Eddie Bick will be honoured during a special service in the town.
Fellow shipmates, family and friends will gather at Pershore Cemetery next Sunday (May 3) from 12.30pm for a dedication and blessing service by RNA Chaplain Canon Richard Etheridge.
Following the commemoration of Ted’s bench, Eddie, who passed away in December just a couple of weeks after his friend, will also be honoured.
The benches will be sited outside the Victorian Cemetery Chapel and will feature plaques inscribed to each of them.
Mr Annis was chairman of the branch and social club from its creation until he passed away in November last year.
More than 450 people crowded into Pershore Abbey and lined the High Street to create a guard of honour for his funeral.
Family friend and fellow shipmate Terry Brimmell took over the role in January and was determined to honour Ted’s memory.
“This is the first of three commemorations planned for Ted this year but at this event, we are taking the opportunity to commemorate our dear friend Eddie as well as he has no immediate family left.” Mr Brimmell said.
“Both deaths were sudden and they are very much missed by all our members so we thought this would be a lovely tribute to them both, and will provide their friends and family somewhere to sit quietly to remember them when visiting the cemetery.
“How better to publicly honour Ted’s memory than in the garden that he worked so hard to create, the day after the first anniversary of his passing during his favourite service of the year.”
“We are extremely grateful to Ann Dobbins and the members of Pershore Town Council for all their help and support which has enabled these tributes to take place.” he added.
A second commemoration will take place during the Sea Sunday service at Pershore Naval Social Club on Sunday, July 26, where plaques will be dedicated to shipmates lost during the last year on the Wall of Remembrance.
“Ted’s favourite ship during of his seven year service was HMS Belfast which he served on at the same time as myself on her final tour of the Far East before being decommissioned.” Mr Brimmell said.
“Eddie was one of our staunch Associate Members and therefore we’ve had a special plaque made for him with Pershore Abbey on it.” he added.
Ted’s daughter Trudy Burge is working on a third commemoration together with Wychavon District Council for November 11 during the Pershore schools Armistice Day Service.
Ted Annis was taken back on board HMS Belfast during a surprise trip arranged by his eldest daughter Wendy in August 1998. (s)