FIFTEEN motorcyclists from the Royal British Legion’s Riders branch formed part of the funeral cortege for Raymond Gibson, a former IW county chairman of the RBL, who has died, aged 80.
Mr Gibson’s casket was accompanied by the motorcyclists from his home in Langbridge, near Newchurch, to the IW Crematorium, Whippingham, last Wednesday.
At the crematorium, the cortege was escorted into the building by a number of forces organisations, represented by their standards, which included the IW branch of the Regimental Association of The Rifles and The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment (RGBW), the IW, East Cowes and Brighstone branches of the RBL, and the IW Fire and Rescue Service.
Mr Gibson, who was born in Sholing, near Southampton, joined the RBL in 1964 when he became a member of the Bitterne branch.
On the Island, he was a member of the East Cowes, Shanklin, Newport and Carisbrooke branches. His responsibilities included being a standard bearer and, when he joined the county branch, served as its chairman and as a poppy appeal co-ordinator.
In July 2015, Mr Gibson was awarded RBL national life membership, with a certificate and life membership badge, which was presented by the Island’s deputy Lord Lieutenant, Col David Langford.
Mr Gibson was also a founder member of the IW branch of the Regimental Association of the RGBW.
When he left school, he became an apprentice toolmaker and went on to join Ford in Southampton and, later, Tonibell Ice Creams as a frozen foods manager, before he ran his own ice cream franchise.
He moved to the Island in 1976 — initially returning to engineering with the British Hovercraft Corporation in East Cowes, before he went into the licensing trade, taking over the Victoria Tavern, East Cowes, followed by The Fountain, Sandown.
After retirement in 2002, Mr Gibson took up gardening and had volunteered at the Sunnycrest Nursery, Newchurch.
Mr Gibson leaves his wife, Karen, who he married in 2009, and his three children, Mark, Andrea and Paul, from his first marriage to Margaret.