PDB members attended the funeral of Captain (E) Martin Ellam on Wednesday 21 February. The Branch also provided the pall bearers and two standard bearers. Martin was born on 21 November 1942 in Looe, Cornwall, but grew up in the Cattedown and St Budeaux areas of Plymouth. Martin didn't like school and left with no qualifications but embarked on a five year apprenticeship as a precision fitter at Devonport Dockyard. In 1965, he joined the RFA as a Junior Engineer Officer. Martin rose through the ranks achieving the rank of Captain (E). Whilst serving he obtained a BA degree through the Open University. Martin married Sally in 1965 and they had three children, John, Ann and Julie. Family was very important to Martin and he and Sally had a wonderfully contented marriage. They were blessed to have four grandchildren. Martin took early retirement in 2001 to concentrate on building model railways, refurbishing their house in France and studying philately, specialising in German postal history. He died peacefully on the 8th February surrounded by his loving family.
PDB attended the funeral of Barrie Knapp yesterday and provided two Standard Bearers.His niece and nephew were joined in the Chapel by many friends and RFA colleagues. The chapel was full. Barrie was born in Tavistock, and lived there all his life. His family had a business in the town selling pork sausages but Barrie didn't like pork. So he joined the Merchant Navy as a Radio Officer, serving first with Union Castle and then the RFA for 32 years. He served in nearly all theatres, including the Falklands War and Gulf War. When on leave he enjoyed fast cars, once owing an Aston Martin, and more recently a Saab Aero. He also played golf and was a member of Tavistock Golf Club for over 50 years. In retirement he enjoyed gardening, fish keeping and his Westie dogs. He was a regular at PDB meetings and lunches. The presiding vicar at the funeral said that every prayer in the Christian faith ends with a single word, and although Barrie was a spiritual man he would want the final word in his life to be Brexit.