Martham Royal British Legion man buried with military honours

WARM tributes have been paid to a Martham man whose life at the heart of the community had a big impact over more than seven decades.

A funeral cortege was on Wednesday due to parade from Michael Priestley-Pickard’s home on The Green to St Mary’s Church where he was due to be buried with full military honours.

He died suddenly at home aged 79.

Born in Kent an only child he and his parents moved to Martham when he was aged six, putting down roots that would radiate across the village he was proud to call home for the rest of his life.

His father was well-known on his rounds as a postman.

Regarded as super-intelligent with a goldmine mind full of knowledgable nuggets on every subject he opted for the simple, single life of a carpenter/boat-builder.

Gregarious, warm-hearted, full of fun, and a decent cricket player, friends this week described him without exaggeration as “a legend,” “a unique person in every sense of the word,” and “a wonderful character.”

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Animal-loving and generous he enjoyed having visitors to his home, young and old - his impeccable reputation for being a man of character and kindness drawing many to his door.

Despite having few relatives, none of whom are local, a large turnout was expected on Wednesday, his few remaining comrades who served with him in the Suffolk Regiment determined to give him the send-off he deserved.

Village butcher Philip Dowe who looked in on him every day said he was good company and a great character.

“He always liked fun and good times and he spent a lot of time round mine until the early hours of the morning. He loved anyone who would have a bit a of a laugh and was never prejudiced towards anyone, young or old. The only thing he did get a bee in his bonnet about was anybody that was cruel to animals.

“He was a very good carpenter and handyman, making a lot of good furniture for people in the village and working on boats for some famous owners.”

The local branch of the Royal British Legion of which he was a long-serving active member was due to carry its standard and buglers to play The Last Post.