Death of former Leeds and Hollingbourne RBL Chairman.

The death of Mr Frank Burniston, former Chairman of the Leeds and Hollingbourne branch of the Royal British Legion, occurred on 21st April at the age of 87. Mr Burniston was a well known Hollingbourne figure and lived in recent years in a house at the end of the Pilgrim’s Way in Upper Street, Hollingbourne. He had not enjoyed good health in recent years. 

Mr Burniston served in the RAF at Detling amongst other postings and he was a motor cycle despatch rider for the RAF for a period. After leaving the RAF he ran a number of small enterprises including a courier business and once said that his busiest period was in the aftermath of the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster in 1987 when in pre-internet days, lots of media companies needed films and pictures of the event to be couriered back to their studios. He also worked as an agricultural machine engineer.

He also for a period operated the Village Shop when it was in the Old China Shop in Eyhorne Street with his wife, Jill, and they later went on to run a greengrocery business in the Hollingbourne Station Yard. Towards the end of his working life he also worked as a gardener in Hollingbourne.

In his spare time he was a keen member of the local branch of the Royal British Legion, Chairman for nine years, and took part in three charity bicycle rides for the charity from London to Paris.

He leaves a widow, Jill, several children and grandchildren. Prior to moving to the Pilgrim’s Way the Burnistons lived for many years in Culpeper Close.

The funeral is at Vinters Park Crematorium, Bearsted Road, Maidstone ME14 5LG at 11.45am on Friday 10th May and there will be a celebration of his life at the Tudor Park Hotel afterwards. All are welcome.

Pictured below is Frank Burniston in 1997.

Frank Burniston in 1997 – Picture courtesy of Toni Church.