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Bernard J Holden MBE, 1908-2012


Bernard celebrating his centenary - Andrew Strongitharm - 16 March 2008
Bernard Holden MBE, President of the Bluebell Railway, passed away on Thursday, 4th October 2012 peacefully, in the nursing home where he had been living for some time. A full obituary appeared in, amongst many other places, the Telegraph.

If anyone wishes to donate a sum in memory of Bernard, it will be split between his two favorite projects (the Bluebell's Extension and the Brighton Directors' Saloon). A donation and Gift Aid form is available to download.

The funeral was held at 12.30p.m. on Tuesday, 16th October at St Margaret's Church, Ditchling, followed by a private family burial. Amongst the best coverage of the funeral was that in the Mid Sussex Times.

As many of you will know, Bernard gave significant wartime service in his professional capacity, in India and during the campaign in Burma. The Royal Engineers Association and the British Legion honoured him at the church.

This was preceded by one last journey on the Bluebell Railway from Sheffield Park to Kingscote. This train, of which the LBSCR first-class carriage and the LSWR brake in which Bernard travelled were reserved for family only, and was top and tailed by two Brighton locomotives, B473 "Birch Grove" and 55 "Stepney".

It was requested that there should be family flowers only; the Railway and other organisations presented wreaths on behalf of their members. Donations can be sent to R A Brooks and Son, 35 Wivelsfield Road, Haywards Heath RH16 4EN or to the Bluebell Railway, with cheques made out to the Bluebell Railway Trust. Donations are to be divided between the completion of the Northern Extension and the restoration of the Brighton Saloon.

If anyone wishes to send cards or letters of condolence to the Holden family, please do use the Sheffield Park Station address, and we will forward them.

Andrew Strongitharm's photo shows Bernard celebrating his centenary with a ride on the line, in March 2008.

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