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Hundreds turn up for Wells Cathedral funeral of Robert Boscawen

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: January 17, 2014

The funeral of Robert Boscawen took place at Wells Cathedral

The funeral of Robert Boscawen took place at Wells Cathedral

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Hundreds gathered at Wells Cathedral yesterday for the funeral service for war hero, MP and enthusiastic sailor Robert Boscawen.

The mayor of the Dutch city of Enschede, which was liberated by the Allies on April 1, 1945, was among those who had sent condolences to Mr Boscawen's family.

Mr Boscawen was a 22-year-old Coldstream Guards tank commander attempting to capture a bridge over a canal near the Dutch city that day, when an enemy shell pierced his tank.

The young captain, who had already been awarded the Military Cross for actions at Arnhem, was severely injured and disfigured by burns.

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He was evacuated to the pioneering plastic surgery unit at East Grinstead, West Sussex – known as the Guinea Pig Club – where he spent three years in and out of hospital. Undaunted by his injuries, he went on to serve with the British Red Cross civilian relief teams in Germany.

In 1970 Mr Boscawen was elected Conservative MP for Wells, and later Somerton and Frome following boundary changes. He became a senior government whip, and a Privy Counsellor, retiring from politics in 1992. He died on December 28, aged 90.

Former Defence Secretary and former MP for Bridgwater Lord King was among mourners at yesterday's service.

Mr Boscawen's son, Hugh, read the lesson, and hymns included He Who Would Valiant Be.

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