Tony_Benn_Big_Ben‘He encouraged us.’

I can’t think of a more beautiful epitaph.

I stood behind a banner with those words on, at Westminster this morning. The amplified voice of Tony Benn’s son Stephen described how his father never judged his children, but always encouraged them.

I didn’t give a eulogy at my Dad’s funeral and I didn’t cry. Maybe that’s why I was in tears, as people clapped the rose-covered coffin,  Big Ben struck noon and the sun came right out. Debbie_NHS_nurse_Tony_Benn_Funeral_KarenJKHart

4 thoughts on “#TurnoutforTony

  1. Tony Benn was a very special man. Honest, decent, unfailingly polite and doggedly determined to fight for what he believed in. I had the privilege of working quite closely with him – organising interviews and publicity for his An Evening with Tony Benn tours. I’d speak to him every few weeks and even though he became increasingly frail, he battled on for as long as he was physically able. He regarded old age and ill-health as a beastly nuisance but faced the prospect of death with an almost serene acceptance. He knew he wasn’t always right but most of the time he was. Tony Benn will be sorely missed.

    1. That’s wonderful, Jeremy. I only met him briefly a few times but that courtesy and conviction shone through. It was a sad joy to hear such a moving service, alongside so many people who appreciated his beliefs. I was standing next to the woman pictured: a nurse who works with heart failure patients and is studying palliative care. Our values are part of his legacy.

  2. Karen
    You have given me my few seconds of fame, thank you (i think) not quite sure how i feel about the sun shining quite so brightly at that moment! On a less flippant note, it was a moving day and one that will stay with me, particularly moving was hearing ‘The red flag’ coming out of the church speakers at the end of the ceremony and all joining in. Definitely an end of an era.
    Debbie Hull (Heart Failure Nurse)

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