A grateful daughter who was unable to fulfil her late father’s last wish was in tears of joy when a stranger saved the day.

Lorraine Hopkinson, daughter of the late Bill Hopkinson, a beloved and long-serving Bicester fireman, was devastated when she was told her dad’s last wish of having his ashes interred in Bicester could not be fulfilled.

Mrs Hopkinson’s dad was cremated on July 20, and she was told by the town council there was simply not enough room for her father’s ashes to be buried in the town.

Read more: Last wish may go unfulfilled for hero firefighter

However, a few days ago, Mrs Hopkinson was contacted by personal funeral advisor Judy Young telling her that a man named Dave Ford had walked into her place of work and offered Mrs Hopkinson’s dad a place for his ashes in the Ford family plot in St Edburg’s churchyard, in Bicester.

Mr Ford had read Mrs Hopkinson’s story in the Bicester Advertiser, and decided to speak with his family about allowing Bill Hopkinson to be buried in their plot.

Mr Ford’s father, John Ford, had also recently passed away.

Mrs Hopkinson then found out that John Ford had been a Police Officer in Bicester at the same time her father was a serving firefighter.

The two men knew each other, and both lived in the Highfield area of the town.

Mrs Hopkinson said: “It’s so fantastic. When I heard the news I was in tears of happiness.

“It’s completely overwhelming because I was trying to reconcile that I wasn’t going to be able to fulfil dad’s last wish.

“Then just as I was at a real low, I got a phone call out of the blue, telling me what this lovely man had offered to do for us.

“I phoned my sister, she was crying, everyone was crying.

“We can now carry out dad’s last wishes and lay him to rest in his beloved Bicester thanks to the incredible generosity and kindness of the Form family.

“And not only that, but he will be buried alongside John, a man he knew and who was also a member of the uniformed services.

“We thank the Ford family from the bottom of our hearts.

“We would also like to say a huge thank you to the Bicester Advertiser for highlighting our plight to begin with.”

Mr Hopkinson’s ashes will be interred on Monday at 2pm, in what Mrs Hopkinson described as a ‘small occasion’.

Mr Hopkinson served as a retained fireman for nearly 30 years with Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, being based at Bicester Fire Station.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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