Today was quite a sad day. We said farewell to Ron ‘Fuzzy’ Knights.
Fuzzy had no close family and was to have received a ‘public health’ or paupers funeral, but he was sent off in remarkable style thanks to an appeal by his undertakers to ensure that he was not alone for his final journey. With an escort to the crematorium by veteran bikers, and a Guard of Honour of ex-service association standards at Ipswich crematorium, Fuzzy without a doubt, would have been greatly amused at all the fuss that had been made for him.
Despite all the exterior ceremony and the appearance of the national media, inside, there were just two or three of us who actually knew him personally and it was incredibly sad to see just three Suffolk Regiment ties (including mine) in the congregation.
I interviewed Fuzzy several times over the past ten years, copying his photographs of his days with the Suffolk Regiment in Malaya and in Cyprus and recording his reminisces of his service. Those of particular interest were of when he signed in for regular service after his national service had ended and he joined the Corps of Drums. He was I believe, the last remaining Regimental Drummer and often he would grab the drumsticks and play a few beats on my old drum, never forgetting the drum calls he had learnt fifty years before.
Fuzzy was, as his testimonial read after leaving the service “a man of quiet personality” but he had a great sense of humour and always looked upon the world that life was definitely for living and I think he would have been quite bowled over by the send off he received today.
I carried the Ipswich Branch Standard and it was honour to send him on his way to the great parade ground in the sky. Farewell old chum, I will miss your stories and tales of life in the 'Old Dozen.'