SPEECH FOR THE LATE PETER FRANK RUSHER.
It is not easy to cover all the aspects of Peter's busy life but I will try and give a short resume on the information I have been given.Peter was born in London on 9th June, 1927 where he grew up and attended school until he was fourteen. His first job was that of a messenger but he Did several others jobs before he finally volunteered to become a professional soldier when he was eighteen. He enlisted in the "1st Bn. Royal Fusiliers, City of London Regiment - a regiment of which he was very proud and later in life always made a point of attending the Regimental Association Dinners. After his initial training in the UK ,he was posted to Berlin.and eventual met Christel in 1950. I understand that it was "Love at first sight" and they married within six months.He saw service in various parts of the world, including Korea where he was severely wounded and for his bravery was presented with the "Purple Heart" a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed in battle.. On his demobilisation from the army he moved back to Berlin in 1963 where Peter Did several jobs before finally taking up a position as a Male Nurse in the Landesnerven Klinik and where he was well liked and respected by his colleagues. It was not long before he joined the Legion and quickly became active within the Branch . He proudly carried the Standard for ten years only giving up because of ill-health. I remember him standing so often where our present Standard Bearer, also a Peter, stands today. He took part in one of the Legion Standard Bearer Competitions. In fact he was the oldest participant but finished the competition with distinction. He carried the standard on many ceremonial occasions but perhaps the highlight of his Standard Bearer Career was when he with a Legion contingent attended the 50th Anniversary of the Liberation of Colditz and we were interviewed by Martin BELL, the BBC War Correspondent,and went out on British television that day.Peter was a kind man with many fine qualities not least his good sense of humor which endeared him in a wide circle. Those of us who visited him during his prolonged illness were aware that he endured it with the stoicism of a real Brit. - in fact he remained British to the core.Peter will live on in our hearts and to live on in the hearts of those you leave behind is not to die., we all know that it is sad to lose those who are dear to us, there is comfort in remembering the time they made us laugh and comforted us when we cried - also warmth and unselfishness they gave us during their lives. Memories such as these will never fade with time but will grow stronger with the years.
May I conclude with a short poem I have read many times and which Peter had requested be read out today.
Though I am dead, grieve not for me with tears,
Think not of death with sorrowing and fears,
I am so near that every tear you shed ,
Touches and tortures me , though you think me dead,
But when you laugh and sing in glad delight,
My soul is uplifted to the light.
Laugh and be glad for all hat life is giving,
And I, though dead, will share your joy in living"
Mr. William Sheckleston OBE.