War veteran Bernard Downes led cadets for two decades

Bernard Downes, of Holland Road, Stamford, who died on Monday, April 24, aged 88. He was captain of the Stamford detachment of the ATC for more than 25 years, a member of the Stamford branch of the Royal British Legion and served in the Second World War
Bernard Downes, of Holland Road, Stamford, who died on Monday, April 24, aged 88. He was captain of the Stamford detachment of the ATC for more than 25 years, a member of the Stamford branch of the Royal British Legion and served in the Second World War
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Tributes have been paid to a “remarkable” man who served in the Second World War and led an army cadet force for two decades.

Bernard Downes, of Holland Road, Stamford, died unexpectedly on Monday last week, aged 88.

Although he was forced to retire at the age of 60 after suffering a stroke, Mr Downes was well known in the town prior to that, having run the Army Cadet Force in Stamford for more than 25 years.

He had also been the manager of the former Harts seed and pet shop in Stamford and had served in the Royal Engineers during the war, serving in Egypt, Palestine, Jerusalem and Holland.

His daughter Christine Bradshaw described him as a hero and said he saved many lives. She said he was dedicated to serving the country.

Bill Turner, who knew Mr Downes through the cadets, paid tribute saying: “He really was a remarkable man. I am sure a lot of people in the town will remember him and want to pay their respects. He was really good with the lads in the cadets.”

Mr Downes’ wife Joan died in 2007. He is survived by his other children Michael Downes and Moira Brun-Downes and four grandchildren.

Mr Downes funeral will be held on Wednesday at 11.30am at All Saints’ Church in Stamford.

His coffin will be draped in the Union flag, there will be standards and representatives from the Army, the cadets and the Royal British Legion.