Full ceremonial funeral for firefighter

Paul’s coffin will be carried on a turntable ladder from Castle Donington Fire and Rescue Station to All Saints with Holy Trinity Church via Diseworth, Long Whatton, and Shepshed Fire and Rescue Station.

Paul Wilkens, 47, from Shepshed who tragically passed away while on duty at Castle Donington Fire and Rescue Station, where he was a crew manager, on Tuesday, August 23. On Friday, September 9, a full ceremonial fire service funeral will be held at All Saints with Holy Trinity Church in Steeple Row, Loughborough, at 2.30pm.

Paul Wilkens, 47, from Shepshed who tragically passed away while on duty at Castle Donington Fire and Rescue Station, where he was a crew manager, on Tuesday, August 23. On Friday, September 9, a full ceremonial fire service funeral will be held at All Saints with Holy Trinity Church in Steeple Row, Loughborough, at 2.30pm.

UPDATE: Members of the public who wish to pay their respects are invited to line Bridge Street in Loughborough, on the approach to the church and the family are happy for people to do this. However they are expecting a large number of mourners and attendees at the church and due to the complexity of the funeral service and cortege arrangements, organisers are NOT encouraging people to attend the church.

A FIREFIGHTER from Shepshed who tragically passed away while on duty in August will be honoured with a full ceremonial funeral this Friday (September 9).

Paul Wilkens, 47, was found in an unresponsive state by his colleagues at Castle Donington Station, where he was a crew manager, on Tuesday, August 23 and passed away that morning.

He leaves behind his mother Elsie, partner Melanie, children Poppy and Albert, and brother Simon, a fellow firefighter at Birstall Fire Station.

Originally from Cambridgeshire, Paul travelled extensively throughout his childhood as part of an Army family.

He joined Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service in 2002 following a 17 year career in the Corps of Royal Engineers during which he served in the Gulf War and in Bosnia.

In the fire and rescue service Paul was based at Western, Central and Hinckley stations, was a team leader with the Prince’s Trust and worked in the training department.

His final post was as a crew manager at Castle Donington Fire and Rescue Station.

Paul’s interests outside work were many and varied. He was supremely fit and a central figure at both Shepshed Rugby Union Club where he played for many years and Royal Engineers Old Boys Cycling Group.

On Friday (September 9), a full ceremonial fire service funeral will be held at All Saints with Holy Trinity Church in Steeple Row, Loughborough, at 2.30pm.

Members of the public who wish to pay their respects to Paul are being asked to line the route at Bridge Street in Loughborough on the final approach to the church.

Paul’s coffin will be carried on a turntable ladder from Castle Donington Fire and Rescue Station to All Saints with Holy Trinity Church via Diseworth, Long Whatton, and Shepshed Fire and Rescue Station.

The cortege will also include two fire appliances carrying Paul’s colleagues from Castle Donington Fire and Rescue Station who will be pallbearers and will provide a guard of honour on the way into the church.

Adam Taylor, firefighter and Leicestershire Fire Brigades Union Exec, said: “Paul was a strong, passionate and loyal member of Leicestershire Fire Brigades Union.

“Like many of you will know, Paul rarely liked to miss out on anything, whether that was a conversation or a party.

“Paul will be sadly missed by all that knew him, whether they were old school friends, rugby friends, cycling friends, water sports friends, friends from his time in the military, his “Fire Service Family”, his FBU comrades and of course his immediate and close family.

“We need to take the time, which I’m sure you have, to have a thought for Paul’s family, this is a sad time for us, but I dare say none of us can comprehend the feelings Paul’s family will be feeling right now.

“Paul’s partner, Melanie and Paul’s children, if not now but in time, will hopefully take solace in the fact that Paul was respected, liked and loved by so many.”