a FORMER Kirriemuir Royal Marine has been given a fit and proper send off, thanks to the support of local members of the East of Scotland Royal Marines Association.
Members had heard that one of their former comrades - Acting Corporal James Parsons RM, had passed away, but that he was to be laid to rest in a pauper’s grave.
Corporal Parsons had lived in Kirriemuir for the last 20 years with his wife, Lottie, but she sadly passed away in 2000.
Tim Donovan of the East of Scotland Royal Marines Association explained: “In August we heard of the sad loss of one of our comrades, former Acting Corporal James Parsons, RM.
“We were later distressed to hear that, as he had no surviving relatives, the Crown Office had decided that he was to have a pauper’s grave.
“Obviously, we did not think that this should be allowed to happen to a former Royal Marine who had served Queen and country in Malaya, Cyprus and Aden and many other places around the globe over many years.
“My fellow members of the East of Scotland Royal Marines Association decided to do something about it.”
He went on: “We contacted the Royal Marines Association in Portsmouth and it was agreed that the Association should pay for a funeral and cremation.”
Corporal Parsons was a member of the advance party when 45 Commando moved to Arbroath in 1971 and was released from service from the base.
On Thursday he had a fitting farewell at Parkgrove Crematorium, near Friockheim, attended by 18 members of the East of Scotland Royal Marines Association, bugler Jeff Smart, and standard-bearer Roddy Campbell.
The ceremony was conducted by the Rev John Cuthbert, St Mary’s Scottish Episcopal Church, Arbroath, who is Associate Padre at Condor.
Members formed a guard of honour outside the crematorium before and after the service, with their standards featuring prominently in what proved to be a fitting farewell to one of their comrades.