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Crowds gather for 'unique' and 'charismatic' Second World War veteran's funeral

Peter Chesney joined the military at the ages of 18 and took part in the two month Battle of Caen in August 1944, before fighting his way through France, Holland and then into Germany

More than one hundred people gathered in Hillingdon for the funeral of a local hero on Wednesday (August 23).

Second World War veteran, Peter Chesney died at the age of 93 and despite having no living relatives, crowds of people attended his funeral including friends, staff from Hayes Cottage Nursing Home, members of the police, the Mayor of Hillingdon, Councillor Carol Melvin and members of the Royal Artillery.

The local biking group were also on hand riding Harley Davidson bikes behind the hearse and the British Legion supported with the funeral preparations.

More than one hundred people attended the funeral(Image: Get West London)

Mr Chesney's next of kin, Suki Sandhu was overwhelmed by the turnout at the funeral of the man she treated as an adopted Grandad.

She has known Mr Chesney all her life, living just across the road from him, she said: "Pete was a character so unique, he was very charismatic, he could speak to anybody no matter what age they were, he was a very social person and he had a unique sense of humour."

Peter Chesney was born in Battersea(Image: Suki Sandhu)

She added: "He loved his Guinness, he had a Guinness every day and that's something that was a must and I was forever going to get him cases that would last him.

"And I think that was his last drink."

Mr Chesney, who was an only child, was born in Battersea on January 10, 1924 and when he was around five or six-years-old, his family moved to Southall, where Mr Chesney continued to live until just a few years ago, when he moved to Hayes Cottage Nursing Home.

Mr Chesney was 93 when he died(Image: Get West London)

He joined the military at the age of just 18 and bravely took part in the two month Battle of Caen in August 1944, before he fought his way through France, Holland and then into Germany

The veteran previously said: "I knew that I'd have to join the services when I was 18, and I was called over to Acton to register.

Peter Chesney joined the military at the age of 18(Image: Get West London)

"I wanted to join the RAF because they had a shirt and tie – but they were full.

"Everyone wanted to join the RAF."

He was instead called up to 109 Battery, 33 Field Regiment The Royal Artillery in 1943.

Members of the military attended the funeral(Image: Get West London)

To his delight, in 2014 he received the highest French military honour, the Legion D’Honneur, for his part in the D-Day landings.

When the war was over Mr Chesney took up work as a driver for Bentall's and he lived with his parents, looking after them as they grew older.

Members of the local biking group bore his coffin(Image: Get West London)

He grew close to his neighbours at the time, in particular a lady named Jean, whose family continued to visit him after they moved to Norwich.

Suki recently asked him why he never married, to which he responded: "Well I knew a few ladies but their husband’s didn’t like me", a clear example of his great sense of humour.

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