Military send off for Whitby soldier John

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A WHITBY soldier found dead at his barracks in Germany will be given a full military send off at his funeral.

Artificer Sergeant Major (ASM) John Buck (41) from the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers (REME) attached to the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards was found dead at his living quarters in Fallingbostel two days before Christmas.

A service will be held at St Hilda’s Church on the West Cliff on Wednesday at 11am and will be followed by burial at the cemetery.

His family, including wife Rachel and children Jordan (18), Keifer (14) and Erin (7) who live in Germany – have asked for donations, instead of flowers, to be directed to the Army Benevolent Fund via the funeral director John Corner.

Hundreds are expected to pay their respects to the soldier who was described by his parents Ted and Dawn, of Captain Cook Crescent as a “family man who lived to serve his country”.

Many of the mourners who served with John are travelling from outside the UK, from Germany in particular.

The Whitby Gazette website has been received many memories and tributes to John, many of which come from his former Army comrades.

Clive Hill served with him when the pair were on peace keeping duties in Yugoslavia in 1998 and said many of the tales were unsuitable for publication but an incident when Clive was attached to a ‘rival squadron’ within the regiment sprang to mind.

John and his crew had broken down and didn’t want the embarrassment of being recovered by the other squadron so they decided to exact revenge. However, half way through removing the engine from the recovery vehicle, they were discovered.

Clive added: “Caught red handed what else could he do, but accept the offer of a couple of beers and help get our vehicle serviceable again.”

The prank continued though when Clive’s squadron poured used oil into the engine of John’s vehicle.

“Sure enough, when John’s crew started the engine up, the huge fans that cool the vehicle sucked up and spat out all the oil in the hull; successfully simulating the symptoms of a major pack failure.

“We could hear the conversations over the radio, and fell about laughing as the crew ran around attempting to find the source of the fault.

“Far from being miffed, he actually congratulated us on the prank.”