18:03 Tuesday 10 December 2013

Colleagues of former firefighter pay respects

Written bySARAH BOULD

A FUNERAL procession for a former Burton firefighter saw police officers and former colleagues line up outside a fire station as a mark of respect as the hearse passed by.

Rob Cox died, at the age of 53, on November 30 following a short battle with a brain tumour.

Rob, who retired from the fire service last year, had been the champion behind a museum chronicling the town’s firefighting history.

His funeral was held today (Tuesday) and saw around 50 former colleagues and friends stand in line outside Burton Fire Station in Moor Street.

The funeral procession was led by an undertaker on foot, and included a fire engine following the funeral cars.

As the cars and engine passed, the firefighters, dressed in formal uniforms, bowed their heads and one chief officer gave a salute.

As the funeral procession drove through town, a floral tribute on the coffin could be seen to read ‘pop’.

The cars then continued on to Bretby Crematorium for a service at 1.30pm. Some of the firefighters followed to attend the service.

Mr Cox had two daughter, Emma and Vicky. They told the Mail about the work he did as a volunteer at the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK shops after he retired from the fire service.

They described their father as a modest man who never bragged about the charity work he did.

Mr Cox was also well-known in the town for his work on three books, one charting the history of the fire service in Burton – We All and Each of Us in 2002.

His daughter Vicky said that he had been somewhat of a celebrity in Burton.

She described a time that he did a book-signing at The Wetmore Whistle for his book Rock This Town, about the Burton music scene.

She said: “We went along to this book signing and it was just absolutely heaving with people – he was like a local celebrity. We never got to speak to him for about three hours.”

The family has many clippings of Rob from the Mail charting his work at Burton fire station’s museum which he championed after find dusty bits of memorabilia around, giving a fascinating insight into the history of the station.

Rob was born in Blackpool Street in March 1960, attending Uxbridge Junior Mixed School, before passing his 11 Plus exams and joining Burton Grammar School.

He started his career as a gas board engineer, and joined the fire service at the age of 29, where he would spend more than 20 years before his retirement.

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