Funeral and baby naming service in Scotland

Bespoke Civil Ceremonies
40 Morlich Place
Kinross
KY13 8BW
United Kingdom

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A Service of Thanksgiving for
the life, love and faith of

Wally Hammond

Dunfermline Crematorium -
19th September 2008

 

Where do we start today with this man you have all known and loved? Do we start with his early years growing up in Ipswich and what a slender wiry wee boy he was? Do we start with his days up in Devonshaw and how along with Margaret and sometimes Ian he’d be there rolling up the sheep wool or looking after the orphan lambs? Or do we start by telling you about his navy days and how he used to smuggle cooking oil off the ship to impress a certain good looking waitress who worked in the famous Nardini’s ice cream shop and café – and it was Margaret by the way. Well maybe there is no better place to start today than with the people who were most important to Wally- his family.

Now, James Percy Frederick Hammond, Wally, was born in Ipswich on 26th May 1926 and although we don’t have too many stories to tell about his early childhood, by all accounts he had a good and a happy childhood and somewhere along the line must have understood the importance of enjoying a laugh and a bit of fun because to be perfectly honest he was like all his days. Most people, I am sure have heard stories of how he used to terrify shop keepers in Netherton with his fake plastic turds and have them in hysterics and you maybe even heard stories of how he wasn’t at all shy about getting dressed up as a woman – as he once did in Sorrento – and a fine looking woman he was. Wally enjoyed life. If he heard that his son, who was in Indonesia by now was dressed up like a local on a sarong, he would have no hesitation of doing likewise in his back garden in Devonshaw courtesy of all a pair of old curtains that Margaret didn’t want and a dish towel on his head. I’m not telling you anything you don’t know here. If you were to ask most people what they will miss most about Wally, I bet they’ll say his sense of humour closely followed by his loved of Black Heart rum- well he was in the navy wasn’t he, they weaned you on the stuff.

And ‘weaned’ is possibly the right word here because Wally was only fifteen when he joined the navy, he lied about his age. But although he was a slight and slender character he was a mean football player and a talented gymnast. He has several claims to fame when it comes to sporting excellence including playing for Stoke (before they became Stoke City – and look at them now back in the Premiership), a little trophy cum medal sat proudly on his mantelpiece in his house at Devonshaw and then he got a letter printed in the down memory lane magazine called ‘The Way We Were’ and was able to inform the readership that he was one of the famous ‘Ipswich Lads’ in the photos and was able to rattle off the names of everyone else in that photo; to the delight no doubt of those who were associated with the club. Wally was probably the last of the boys from the Ipswich Lads Club. 

As we said, he has seen and done most things in his life. He fell in love with a fine woman and was blessed with many 52 years of happy marriage – even though some say Margaret was the boss. He had two boys who he was very proud of. He travelled the world during his years in the navy as a submariner and on various other ships including the Osprey, Nemesis, Weston and Dacres and narrowly missed being killed when he ship was bombed at Portsmouth harbour and many of his sea pals were lost. Wally was off shore that day at the doctors. He never spoke much about those days, quite naturally, he would rather talk about the fun times; getting dressed up in woman’s clothes and doing his infamous trick with the tattoos on his knees. Like everyone else who came through the war he was just expected to carry on with life as normal and from that perspective alone he did remarkably well and deserves our respect and praise today. He went back to his trade as a French Polisher for a while before he became a production manager for a company that made school furniture.

Jimmy and Ian have nothing but good and happy memories of their dad growing up in Ipswich and Netherton. Even though money was tight he would save up to take them on a cycling holiday around the borders, he took them to football matches and the speedway; he was a life long fan of the Ipswich Witches. He never asked for that much for himself in life except a bit wresting on the telly with the likes of Mick McManus and Jackie Polo and a bit of silence at Dickie Davis read out the football score and pool results on a Saturday afternoon at ten to five and of course he asked for the occasional black rum or three. Small pleasures of life really. He never sought fancy cars or grand house and was genuinely content with everything he had in his life and with the constant companionship that Margaret and Glen gave him.

Devonshaw, from 1986 onwards was a place that brought him even more contentment. He enjoyed his walks around the estate, visiting their friends Donald and Greta. They used to come to this area, to Rumbling Bridge for years at the weekends and when the chance came to have a house up here in his retirement he wisely took it.  Ok there was that other claim to fame that the famous footballer Joe Baker lived in the same street at them in Muirhouse Avenue in Netherton but Devonshaw was, if you pardon the expression, a breath of fresh air from a Lanarkshire estate. You could still go to the speedway and football if you wanted but Devonshaw was a place Wally really loved. He spent many an hour doing the house up, helping others and trying his best to enjoy his retirement. Of course things were oh so different after Margaret passed away and when ill health came but over all, Wally had a good innings. He will certainly always be remembered as a loving dad who would never be afraid to be one of the lads and play football with Jimmy when he was a teenager and he would never be afraid to tell it straight and tell you what he thought of you. But again that just all added to his charm and to the reason why people loved him.

We just hope and pray that after his many years of giving he is at peace with Margaret now and like the navy, you get your quota of rum up there. He will be missed for his honesty, his hard work and his sense of humour. He often said he wouldn’t know what he would do without his family, well Wally all we can say now is that the lives of a lot of people are so much better as a result of having known you and loved you and all that we ask now is that you rest in peace with Margaret, you rest in peace because you certainly deserves it.

Wally Hammond

Wally and his beloved Glen

 

Grieve for me, for I would grieve for you.
Then brush away the sorrow and the tears
Life is not over, but begins anew,
with courage you must greet the coming years.
To live forever in the past is wrong;
and can only cause you misery and pain.
Dwell not on memories overlong,
with others you must share and care again.
Reach out and comfort those who comfort you;
recall the years, but only for a while.
Nurse not your loneliness; but live again.
Forget not. Remember with a smile.    

 

Wally Hammond

That wiry wee boy we were talking about

Along with Glen,the other true love of Wally's life was Margaret. This was taken at the front door of Devonshaw

 

Wally Hammond

 

We are glad that Wally lived.
We are glad that we saw his face and smile
and felt the warmth of his hand and heart
We cherish the memory of his words,
and deeds and character.
We cherish the memory
of the beautiful things he did,
his enjoyment of life
his concern and care,
his friendliness to others
 
Thank you Wally

Thank you for all the good times, the fun times and the happy memories

Thank you most of all Wally for just being you

You have filled your niche in this world and accomplished your tasks

And you will leave this world, and all of us richer, because you were in it.

And if we can learn from his experience in life
And profit from his example

Perhaps we can live better lives for having known him

 

Wally Hammond

A man who has seen and done most things in his life. A man who if he were here today would say that he had a full and happy life. I know life was never the same for Wally after Margaret died. But even with a broken heart, there is a lot to celebrate and give thanks for today

He’s made us laugh and he’s made us smile. He’s even made a few shop keepers jump and shriek too but he will always be remembered as honest, truthful and hard working man who enjoyed a bit of fun and nonsense in his life. And although the photograph of Wally showing off that tattoo on his knee pretending to be a baby has not been found yet we hope that it will go on Wally’s web site which is up and running now. You’ll know what we are talking about here, the eyes nose and mouth that Wally got tattooed on to his knee and that trick he used to play with the napkin. He’s fooled a lot of people over the years with that trick and that’s the sort of thing we want to think about today.

Although there is real sadness that Wally is no longer here, we feel it is only right and fitting to make this service more of a celebration of his life rather than just a commemoration of his passing. In all sincerity we do hope and pray that Wally has been reunited with Margaret once more and with Glen but right now we must take this opportunity to thank Wally for his life and thank him for all the good and happy memories he has left us.

Today is our chance to say how proud we are to have known and loved Wally. He was a good man, a kind man and a man who was as straight as a die, a man who enjoyed a Black Heart rum or three and a man who has touched our lives. In all humility we can say today that we are proud of Wally and all he achieved in his life and our lives as so much richer for having known him and loved him.

We just hope and pray that he knew all along just how much he was loved and how much he will be missed.