- obituaries

Darren Rodgers RIP

Tragedy at Euro 2016 Football Finals

It is with great sadness that I report to you that Darren Rodgers, the young football supporter from Northern Ireland who died in France, was a long time, enthusiastic member of our Brigade. Darren joined the Church Lads’ Brigade in St Patrick’s, Ballymena, as a Martin and made his way through the Y Team, the JTC and Seniors. He represented the Ballymena CLB Company at the Brigade’s National 5 A Side Football Championships in England on a number of occasions. In more recent years, Darren assisted Company Captain, Alan Ross, as a leader in the Company.

Please keep Darren’s family in your thoughts and prayers as they try to deal with the sudden loss of their only son.

David Harris R.I.P

We are very sorry to inform you that our colleague David Harris passed away in hospital around 5am this morning (17th November 2015).   

David was apparently in contact with asbestos in his early career but it seemed no medical problems arose until earlier this year.  Consequently he underwent a major lung operation.  He returned to hospital a few days ago feeling unwell and is thought to have been undergoing further treatment relating to this condition when he passed away this morning.

David gave a lifetime of service to the Brigade and for a good number of years was employed by NHQ as Assistant General Secretary. Whilst holding this role he supported three General Secretaries of the Brigade. Maynard Scott's  earliest memory of David was as a fully fit young man on the Brigade’s original Expedition to Iona in 1968 swimming in the sea off the Machair (Iona’s sandy beech).  In contrast, my final memory of him will be just nine days ago when attended the Brigade Annual Remembrance Service at the National Memorial Arboretum.  David did not realise until the last minute that he had a speaking part in the outdoor ceremony in the Brigade Memorial Garden but despite his obvious frailty he will be remembered for the determined and strong voice he projected when reading the Kohima Epitaph.  David’s own name will be read out from the Roll of Remembrance at next year’s service.

This is a double tragedy for the family because David’s sister, Gillian Smith, also a stalwart Brigade officer, died unexpectedly as recently as 1st September.  Our prayers go out to the family at this difficult time.

Jim Ward R.I.P

It is sad to announce that Jim Ward an Officer at St Thomas Crumpsall has sadly passed away following a short illness.  

Jim’s Funeral will take place Friday 8th January 2016 at Harpurhey Community Church, (Carrisbrook Street, Harpurhey, Manchester M9 5UX) at 11am, then onwards to Blackley Crematorium (Victoria Avenue, Blackley, Manchester M9 8JP) for 12.30pm and then on to Blackley Golf Club just a few minutes up the road (Victoria Avenue East, M9 7HW) for 1.15pm or so.

Jim’s family would particularly like Members, Officers and Friends to join them for both Funeral service and later at the Golf Club. An indication of numbers attending would be appreciated please contact the CLCGB Office.

The Church Lads’ and Church Girls’ Brigade would like to pass on all our condolences to Jim’s family and friends at this sad time.

Jim's son James has written the following about his Dad.

Big Brigade Jim was the name my dad, Jim Ward, chose for his email address. It suited him perfectly. But he’d been in The Church Lads’ Brigade long before computers came into our homes. He joined in 1949, aged 14 and he never left. All my life, there’s barely been a Thursday night that he hasn’t headed out with that big bunch of keys to open up the Brigade. I couldn’t begin to guess the amount of men (and recently, young ladies) that have been taught the Brigade motto by my dad. When he walked round his area, Harpurhey, many a bloke would call out, “Hello, Sir.”

Harpurhey isn’t without its problems and my dad had to park his car several streets away to keep it safe. But nothing would stop him opening up that Brigade. And when that church could no longer host his Brigade nights, he found another Brigade nearby and ran that one. He was already 70 or thereabouts. But on he went. He was still opening up the Brigade less than a month before his 80th birthday.

He passed away peacefully just two weeks after his birthday following a short and pain-free illness. Some of his last words were about the Brigade. And how it might continue.

Bugles, belts and caps filled our house. He cherished his Brigade car badge, the type that would adorn the front bumpers of olden day vehicles. He’d fixed it inside his rear window. He had many hobbies too. His pottery and art, his photography and his films. But the Brigade was his foremost joy. For 67 years, give or take, it made a cheerful chap happier still. My thanks to The Church Lads’ and Church Girls’ Brigade for that.

He’ll be a much-missed brother and uncle, grandad and father.

John Alan Sankey RIP

It is with a sad heart we have to announce that John Alan Sankey an officer from Charnwood Battalion within the Leicester Regiment; sadly passed away Friday 16th March at Leicester Glenfield Hospital.

Alan recently had to give up being a company officer at St. David's Broom Leys due the progression of his illness "idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis".

Alan was a great role model to the members of the company and beyond.

The messages of condolences that have been received by Ann are from current members, ex-members and parents.

Alan's Thanksgiving Service will be held on Thursday 12th April 5pm at St Davids Church LE67 4RL followed by refreshments in the Church hall.

No black and wear TEAL if possible.

There is a private family cremation on Wednesday 28th March and Alan's ashes will be interned in our Church garden of remembrance following the service in April.

Only family flowers but there will opportunity to donate in leiu if you wish.


Kevin Charles Mitchell RIP

We are sad to announce that Kevin Charles Mitchell a former Officer from All Soles Islesworth, sadly passed away on the 2nd December 2015.

Kevin’s Funeral will take place at 2pm on Friday 8th January 2016 at Hanworth Crematorium Middlesex.

Kevin’s family would particularly appreciate any current or ex members to attend the service and if possible a drum or bugle to be played as a mark or respect, and in memory of Kevin’s service to the Church Lads’ and Church Girls’ Brigade.

If anyone could attend the service and play either instrument please let NHQ know via or telephone 01709 876535 and leave a message.

The Church Lads’ and Church Girls’ Brigade would like to pass on all our condolences to Kevin’s family and friends at this sad time.

Major William G. Tilley Obituary

It is with deep sadness I share with you the news that Major William G. Tilley, Newfoundland Brigade Archivist, passed away last Friday. He reached the wonderful age of 103 years and had joined the CLB in 1926. Last year was awarded his 90-Year Gold Service Award and two months ago took part in the 125th Anniversary parade. He was the longest serving CLB member in the world and an inspiration to many generations. During his lengthy life, he receive many awards and accolades, amongst which was Honourary membership of the CLCGB Historical Group. The last honour he received was the Brigade Cross from the Governor in recognition of his "outstanding service to the CLB for over ninety years and for fostering Anglo-Canadian relationships with the CLCGB"

On behalf of all members of the CLCGB, we extend our sincere deepest sympathy to his sons Wayne, Gary and Glen and their families.

It was a privilege to know Maj William G. Tilley and I'm a better person for doing so. He led many to Fight the Good Fight. RIP

Terry Hissey

Tom Warbuton RIP

It is with deepest sympathy that we announce the passing of Tom Warbuton.  Our sincere condolences go to the family of Tom who sadly Passed away on 5th January 2017.

Tom was from St Laurences Chorley CLB in Chorley.

The funeral will be held at Plessington Crematorium on Tuesday 17th January at 3pm and everyone is welcome.

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