Hundreds of mourners have paid their last respects to a Sheffield WWII hero who campaigned tirelessly in his old age for a war memorial in the community he loved.
Family, friends and former military servicemen lined the streets to bade a sad farewell to 94-year-old Frecheville community hero Bill Carline.
Around 400 people attended the war hero’s funeral at City Road Cemetery.
A Certain Smile by Johnny Mathis was played as mourners entered the chapel.
In glorious spring sunshine, people outside listened to the service through two speakers as glowing tributes were paid to the former coal merchant.
Mourners were told how Bill, a dedicated military fundraiser, saw his dream become reality when he single-handedly organised a campaign to have a war memorial installed in memory of 19 Frecheville men who lost their lives in the war.
Known as ‘Pops’ to his adoring grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Bill, who served in the RAF from 1942 to 1947 as a corporal in the transport and supply operations, launched his war memorial crusade in January 2014.
He raised £5,000 in just a few months with the help of residents, relatives of the fallen men, plus local pubs and shops which staged fundraising events.
The Rev Diane Hudson, leading the service, said: “The memorial now stands in Frecheville as a lasting testament to Bill’s dedication and passion.
“Bill was a kind man who loved his family. He touched many hearts especially those in his community.”
Bill who served in tours in Egypt, Cyprus and Jordan, sold poppies in Crystal Peaks shopping centre every year, followed Sheffield Wednesday and was a keen fisherman.
The mourners were told of Bill’s dedication and love for his family. He is survived by three children, seven grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
He married his late wife Nellie within six months of meeting at a friend’s wedding while Bill was on leave.
The Rev Hudson said: “Above all else he was a family man and they loved to pop in and see him.
“Bill held strong principles and believed in good manners.
“He never had any debt and took jobs in his younger years as a ice cream man and a bookmaker to help with the family finances.”
Amy, one of Bill’s 12 great grandchildren read a moving tribute to the packed chapel.
She said: “Pops, I’d like to say proud we are of you and you will continue to make us proud.
“We’re all sure that Nellie is looking after you up there. We love you always.”
Before family and friends were led out into the spring sunshine, ex-servicemen performed a moving and poignant bugle rendition of the Last Post as people bowed their heads in silence.
Donations were made to Cancer Research before mourners headed off to The Sherwood pub, one of Bill’s favourites.