HE WAS a local hero, a character known by many and someone who was respected.
Those were the sentiments during the funeral of retired police officer and armed forces veteran Eddie Wallace.
Family, friends and former colleagues gathered yesterday to pay their respects to the 94-year-old, known formally as Herbert Edward George Wallace.
It was an emotional afternoon as his coffin bearing a Portsmouth City Police pall was carried up the aisle of St Mary’s Church, in Fratton, followed by someone carrying his police helmet and his war medals.
A standard bearer also walked behind the coffin and lowered the standard as the Last Post was played at the end of the service.
Speaking during the service, Mr Wallace’s son Michael said: ‘It seems so unfair to try and sum up any man’s life, let alone one that was the centre of our family’s world.
Eddie was a local hero, a character known to many and respected by manyCanon Reverend Bob White
‘I started to think of a phrase I have heard “you are your father’s son”.
‘Many times I have been told I look like him. Now, when I look in the mirror I can see his face which I am grateful for.
‘He was a wonderful man, as well as husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was a true friend to so many people throughout his life.
‘He was more than a father and a role model, he was my best friend.
‘He was a very generous man and always willing to help impart his knowledge or experiences.
‘It makes me so proud when someone says to me “you are your father’s son” and I can only hope to live up to that legacy.’
Mr Wallace died on April 21 following a short illness.
During the service, News columnist Bob Hind gave an emotional talk about his memories of Mr Wallace and what he did with his life.
He spent 31 years as a police officer in Portsmouth, serving in the City Fire Brigade when he joined as a cadet aged 16.
In October, 1942 he was drafted into the Army.
On D-Day, June 6, 1944, Mr Wallace’s unit landed on Juno Beach near Courselles.
His unit saw action at the Battle of the Bulge during late December and ended up as occupying troops in Osnabruck, Germany.
At the end of the war, he returned to his post in the police before leaving as station sergeant in 1971.
Canon Reverend Bob White said: ‘Eddie was a local hero, a character known to many and respected by many.
‘We have come together to celebrate his friendship, his life and his love shared with us and many others.’
n Remember When tribute to Eddie Wallace: Pages 37 and 38