CAMBS: Last wish was to be taken to rest by tractor

The line of tractors makes its way to Bluntisham church, led by Reg Clements' son Neville

The line of tractors makes its way to Bluntisham church, led by Reg Clements' son Neville - Credit: Archant

A life dedicated to the land – ploughing, drilling, driving tractors – was marked in a very unique and moving cortege at the funeral of 84-year-old Reg Clements.

Reg Clements

Reg Clements - Credit: Archant

Mr Clements, of Darford, Earith, was a member of Cambridge Vintage Tractor Club. It had been his wish that he be taken to his final resting place in Bluntisham by tractor.

A line of tractors joined the procession from Earith to Bluntisham on Wednesday (October 30), with his son Neville Clements at the helm.

Neville Clements, who was also joined by Reg Clements’s eight-year-old great grandson Luke for part of the drive, said: “It was the worst and best day of my life. The worst, because I had lost my father, but the best because I was able to fulfil my father’s dying wish.”

Reg Clements had his own vintage tractor, a 1961 Ferguson 35, and would take part in many agricultural shows and ploughing days. Just three years ago at the onset of his 80s, he was still winning trophies.

“Ploughing and tractors were his life,” said Neville Clements. “During the summer he clocked up more miles in his tractor then he did in his car and it was always said here about that Reg Clements drilled the straightest row of potatoes you could ever live to see.”

Reg Clements was born in Haddenham and would walk every day to school in Earith. His first job was working alongside his mother Alice with T H Meadows & Sons in Somersham. “My grandmother worked just like a man five, six, sometimes seven days a week, while my granddad worked at the gravel pits. They were great role models for my dad, who worked for more than 28 years in Somersham before going on to work at other farms around the area. He even bred pigs for a while with his brother.”

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Reg Clements settled in Earith and as well as Neville had a daughter Sue and another son Robin. He died at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon suffering from bronchial pneumonia. Neville Clements paid tribute to the nurses who cared for him. “I cannot speak highly enough of the care they gave him. They gave him all the care and attention of a new born baby.”