Guard of honour at funeral of firefighter Nicky Jell

James Harrison

Hundreds of mourners turned out to pay their last respects to a ‘hard working, fun loving’ and ‘courageous’ firefighter and grandfather.

Nicholas Jell, also known as Nicky, who gave more than 30 years of service to Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS), had his efforts recognised with a full guard of honour at his funeral at Slough Crematorium on Wednesday.

About 40 firemen lined the final approach to the chapel, in Stoke Road, while the funeral procession was led by group manager Paul Jones and a fire engine from Maidenhead Fire Station, where Nicky spent 29 years as a retained firefighter.

Signing up aged just 21 in 1979, he racked up numerous commendations, before illness forced him to quit the frontline.

After this, he became a stores driver for RBFRS, delivering equipment to stations throughout Berkshire, where he was known to many simply as Nick the Driver.

At least 200 people were at the send-off, where they entered the chapel to Rod Stewart’s Have I Told you Lately, before hearing tributes from chief fire officer Andy Fry, who said: “Firefighters have a well-earned reputation for telling things as they are and I regularly get very honest feedback from my colleagues – with Nicky, it was always positive.”

Eulogies were also given by former chief fire officer Iain Cox and group manager Lloyd Palmer.

Nicky died on Tuesday, August 9, aged 58, following a battle against skin cancer. He is survived by his wife, Tina, two daughters and three grandchildren.

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