WWII Vet Wallace William Laverack Gets Perfect Send-Off – A Tank Tribute

Sons of WWII veteran Wallace William Laverack made a tank tribute for his funeral in honor of their father who was part of the British Army during the closing months of World War Two driving a Cromwell Tank. The WWII vet passed away last April 14 at the old age of 90.

City architect Matthew Laverack, one of his sons, said that the tank tribute was their way of honoring their father’s wartime service. The tank tribute they created consisted of the WWII vet’s coffin “dressed” in a mock British tank and carried on a flat truck.

His sons Matthew and Robert designed and built it while his grandson, Sam Laverack, did the bench joinery work.

“As a tribute to him, his children arranged a “hands on” family funeral at York Crematorium. No vicar. No funeral director. No hearse. We did it all ourselves in our own special way. The truck was a flat bed used by the family firm Laverack Joinery Ltd.,” said Matthew.

He went on to say that they placed his father’s coffin, with a Union Jack flag draped over it as a sign of respect for a soldier who fought for his country, inside the mock up British tank and pointed out that with the incoming 70th anniversary celebration of Victory in Europe [VE] Day, the tank tribute for his WWII vet father seemed a fitting and opportune memorial.

Upon reaching the crematorium chapel, the WWII vet’s coffin was carried on the shoulders of his five sons and son-in-law. The procession was led by Matthew’s siter, Jane, who carried a white wreath promptly placed on top of the Union Jack-draped coffin of their father.

Matthew later on described the experience as “very moving”.

Wallace William Laverack, or Wally among comrades, was born way back on June 20, 1924 and had a successful building business. He got married in 1945 to Mary and the couple went on to have five sons and one daughter.

Matthew described his WWII vet father as someone who spent his final years in contentment and enjoyment and even saw many of his grandchildren and great grandchildren. As a matter of fact, he lived long enough to see one great great grandchild.

His sons had taken him on a pilgrimage to Europe’s battlefields one time and Matthew said that he thoroughly enjoyed the said travel.

A funeral collection was made in his memory and it was able to raise a total of  £432 which his family donated to Dementia UK.

Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE