On this, the 80th anniversary of D-Day, a family is saying goodbye to their great-great grandfather, a man who fought for his country and who died just short of his 100th birthday.

Today is the funeral of Edward ‘Ted’ Peck, who spent 46 years of his life in Bramford. In his 99 years, Ted saw the world change. He saw the reign of five monarchs, 19 prime ministers – and 27 managers of his beloved Ipswich Town.

A Suffolk boy through and through, Ted was born in Ixworth. Born on June 3, 1924, Ted was younger brother to Olive and elder brother to Fred.

The children enjoyed a typical countryside upbringing, shaped by Methodist values, during a time when children played outside and created their own fun. Ted shared fond memories of childhood mischief with his children and grandchildren, remembering climbing trees and scrumping for apples.

Ted left school at 14 and worked alongside his father as a lime burner. His duties included digging chalk out of the pits which would be loaded onto donkeys and brought to farmers to spread on the fields.

Digging chalk was tough, physical work for a young boy, but nothing compared to what was to come in just a few short years.

In 1939, Ted turned 18 and was called to serve his country. This marked a challenging chapter in his life as he had never been away from home before. Seeking comfort, Ted wrote many letters home.

East Anglian Daily Times: Ted Peck served his country for four and a half years. Image: Family of Ted PeckTed Peck served his country for four and a half years. Image: Family of Ted Peck (Image: Family of Ted Peck)

Ted was first deployed to London to assist with the devastation caused by German bombing. His task was to dig through the rubble to retrieve people, both alive and deceased.

Later, Ted was deployed to France, Belgium, and finally to Germany on a peacekeeping mission.

Like many of his generation, Ted didn’t talk extensively about his wartime experiences. However, he did share memories of spending days on end standing in water-filled trenches.

Despite the hardships, Ted considered himself one of the lucky ones, as many of his comrades were killed.

Back home in Suffolk, Ted married Rosie, the love of his life, at Coddenham Methodist Church. Conveniently for Rosie she didn't need to change her surname since she and Ted already shared one.

East Anglian Daily Times: Ted pictured with his beloved wife, Rosie. Image: Family of Ted PeckTed pictured with his beloved wife, Rosie. Image: Family of Ted Peck (Image: Family of Ted Peck)

The family moved several times over the years, from Hemingstone to Coddenham, before eventually settling in Bramford, where they spent 46 years together.

When Richard arrived, they became a family of three.

Ted was a lifelong Ipswich fan, a passion he shared with Richard. From a young age, Ted would take Richard on the bus from Coddenham to Portman Road, carrying a stool under his arm so Richard could stand on it to see over the crowds of fans.

Ted spent the remainder of his working years as a bricklayer and eventually a plasterer at Crowfield.

Upon his retirement, Ted found joy in dedicating time to another passion—plants. He loved gardening, following the football on Sky Sports and attending Bramford Methodist Church.

Family holidays were sometimes spent visiting Cornwall, but Ted was always content with home life and the beauty of his county town.

Life could present challenges, such as when Rosie was diagnosed with dementia. However, thanks to Ted’s unwavering love and devotion and the support from their family, he was able to support Rosie at home for much of her illness.

Family was always very important to Ted, and he will be remembered as very generous and loving to all his family members and their partners.

He doted on his two grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and was thrilled to see the fifth generation of his family born when his great-great grandson Barney was born in October.

East Anglian Daily Times: Ted holding his newborn great-great grandson, Barney. Image: Family of Ted PeckTed holding his newborn great-great grandson, Barney. Image: Family of Ted Peck (Image: Family of Ted Peck)

Ted's likeable nature and his ability to connect with people of all ages earned him many friends. Armed with his bus pass, he travelled all around town and throughout his beloved Suffolk, reaching destinations as far as Aldeburgh and Felixstowe.

Some might wonder if this healthy lifestyle was the secret to Ted’s long and healthy life.

However, Richard and his wife, Linda, suspect this had more to do with his love of sugar—as Ted could always be relied upon to have a hearty supply of biscuits.

Ted died on April 1, 2024, aged 99.

To read more tributes to those we have loved and lost in Suffolk, click here