St Peter and St Paul’s Church was filled for the funeral service and celebration of the life of John Edward Drummond of Cookley Farm, Eye who died on March 5 in his 90th year.
The Rector, the Rev Dr Guy Sumpter officiated and Peter Lee was organist.
The tribute was given by his friend and neighbour for 59 years, David Gaze, who described John as “a unique and a one-off character, a true countryman.”
Born at Rushbrook Farm, Preston St Mary, near Lavenham in June 1925, John moved with his family to Flimworth Hall, Eye in 1942. He enjoyed working with horses before farming became fully mechanised, and also rearing turkeys.
During the Second World War he joined the Home Guard where his duties included guarding Abbey Bridge and watching from the top of the town hall.
From a young age he was skilled at game keeping and shooting, joining the East Suffolk Gun Club and winning many prizes. He also took great pleasure in riding his motorbikes and became a member of the Diss Motorcycle Club. He also belonged to the Diss Young Farmers Club and enjoyed competing in events and dancing.
When the family began contract combining for local farms he met his future wife June, at her home Mill Farm, Redlingfield. The couple married on February 11 1956 at Toft Monks Church and they stared married life in Cookley Farm, bringing up their four children, Jane, Timothy, Alistair and Katie.
A keen conservationist and bird watcher John saw himself as a guardian of the land, being passionate about his beliefs and had strong ideals regarding the way he farmed.
For some years he was a member of Eye Parochial Church Council and attended most Sundays.
In his latter years, when he needed more care, he was fortunate to have some fine carers to look after him, especially Sonja.
John’s brother David, who read Psalm 23, also spoke of their younger days when growing up and learning about farming methods. He described his brother as being “born with a gun in his hand” and a passionate and dedicated farmer. Poems were read by Anna Wright, Emma Waterman and Kayleigh Drummond. Donations in John’s memory are being given to “Operation Turtle Dove” via Susan Whymark Funeral Service, 12 Progress Way, Langton Green, Eye IP23 7HU.