The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville


Some funerals are sad, others pass without much emotion or comment. The funeral for Edwin was somehow different.

Of course sadness at losing Edwin. We will miss the rat, tat, tat as his wheelchair comes up the ramp into church - usually late!

We will miss his smile over coffee in the hall.

We will miss seeing him sitting in the precinct talking to loads of different people.

But it is also a time to rejoice. Edwin is re-united with his beloved brother Bob, who died seven years ago.

Edwin was brought up in Havant. He joined the RAF where he served for 13 years, posted to the Orkney Islands for WWII where he maintained flying boats of the coastal command, including Sunderlands. He was such a success at it, that after the war he came back to the south coast to the flying boat base in Southampton Water, where he worked on the air commodore’s personal flying boat. Later Edwin worked in Portsmouth Dockyard on helicopters.

Together Edwin and Bob looked after their parents in Warfield Crescent. He had a close friend, April, whose son Neil is Edwin’s Godson. Neil remembers Edwin and Bob visiting their home on a motorbike and sidecar. Edwin and Bob also had a caravan in Denmead and they really enjoyed their holidays. They went on long cruises together and made lots of friends. Looking through Edwin’s correspondence, he kept up with most of them, and not only kept up with them but kept every card or letter he received too.

What else made Edwin tick? He liked eating out, and belonged to Waterlooville Luncheon Club right to the end. He liked making wine, shopping in Waitrose, and coming on George’s Men brewery trips. And of course Church.

Edwin was a member of the GSS (Guild of Servants of the Sanctuary - Server’s Guild) and served at the altar for many years, at Copnor and at St George’s. He kept in touch with all the clergy he’s ever known, and judging by the list he produced for All Souls’ Day he knew all their death dates too.

Edwin lived a long and very full life, and he is now in heaven. He had such a resilient and undoubting faith. He is now freed from pain and from his earthly body, and serving at the heavenly altar.

It has been a privilege to know him and we will miss him.

Summer Edition 2012

Edwin James Sheppard, 4 May 1921 -5 June 2012