Cadets Say Goodbye to WW2 Veteran

Cadets Say Goodbye to WW2 Veteran

4 January 2023

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

On 4 th January, 12 cadets from March and Chatteris Detachments gathered to pay their respects at the funeral of war veteran Harold Noor, who has died at the age of 96. The cadets played a leading role in the funeral, escorting the hearse and forming an honour guard to salute the coffin as it passed.


Cdt LCpl Tully walks ahead of the hearse.

Corporal Harold Noor had served in a variety of capacities in the Army, starting as a cadet himself before moving on to join the Army in 1944 and serving in Egypt and France. Having grown up in a harshly puritanical Catholic orphanage in the 1930s, the Army proved to be something of a culture shock, (he’d never heard bad language, eaten baked beans or owned underwear!) but he quickly made many friends and came to love Army life. In total he went on to serve 27 years, including 17 years in the Territorial Army. He served with various units, Including the Royal Army Service Corps, The North Sommerset Yeomanry, The Royal Army Medical Corps and the Royal Tank Regiment, and earned the coveted Airbourne Forces maroon beret. He briefly featured in the Guinness book of records for being carried 26 miles on a stretcher, and was well known for his jokes and pranks on his colleagues.


Waiting for the hearse.

Harold was well loved local character, who had for many years attended the Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Club in March, and was fond of a drink! March Armed Forces and Veterans Hub is a drop-in centre for veterans and families at Cassanos Restaurant which is open Thursdays 10-4 and offers friendship and advice on everything from finances to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Club, at the same venue, meets on the first Saturday of every month.


Cadets and adults salute the coffin as it passes.

Jeff Walters, who runs the breakfast club and veterans hub, said; ‘He was a really fun gentleman who will be missed by everyone who knew him.’ Whilst his loss is keenly felt, the funeral at The Fenland Crematorium was held in an upbeat atmosphere, celebrating a long life well lived. It included a rousing chorus of ‘The Quartermasters Store’ as well as a moving rendition of ‘The Last Post.’


Cpl Noor (left) during his service.

The cadets who took part were keen to pay their respects to Harold, with many saying it was an honour and a privilege to take part. Staff Sergeant Rob Silveri, Commander of March Army Cadet Detachment, praised his cadets for their discipline and giving up their time to attend the funeral. He said; ‘Your behaviour and manners were exemplary and respectful. Well done all.’ The ACF emphasises the importance of young people playing an active role in their local communities, as well as encouraging respect and Remembrance for those who have served.


Cpl Noor (blue jacket) at a Remembrance parade.

Harrold’s daughter, Thelma, said her dad; ‘loved the Army. It gave him purpose in life, and stability during hard times. He would have been so proud to see the young cadets here today, they have been so well mannered and absolutely wonderful.’


The members of Cambs ACF who took part.

This story was featured in The Cambs Times https://www.cambstimes.co.uk/n...

Text and pictures by SI Doug Stuart