Queen's funeral: Poignant moment as retired Fife naval officer pays his respects

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A retired naval officer’s trip from Fife to pay his respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II ended with a moment of kindness from those watching on.

John Elliot (83) from Glenrothes made the trip in full naval uniform to watch as the Queen’s hearse travelled between Holyroodhouse and Saint Giles’ Cathedral last week.

John said he wanted to “acknowledge the Queen's exceptional service to the Nation along with her qualities of being a caring and helpful person” so made the journey to Edinburgh.

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On the day though, dense crowds on the Royal Mile made it difficult for him to get a view of proceedings. However, seeing his uniform, the crowd around him encouraged police to allow John to make his way to the front.

John in his naval reserve uniformJohn in his naval reserve uniform
John in his naval reserve uniform
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Rather than disgruntling those in the crowd, there was spontaneous applause as he was allowed to pass through to take his place to watch and pay his respects.

According to John, he “certainly felt the emotion of the day”, but he “also very much appreciated the kindness of the crowd.”

John had a long history with the navy, having first joined the Sea Cadets in the early 1950s. From there, he became a Naval Reservist in 1956, before starting his national service.

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After two years of national service from 1957, where he trained in communications and rose to the role of Chief Radio Supervisor, John returned to the Naval Reserve.

He would serve for 35 years before retiring in 1995, securing a long service award with two bars along the way.