A Standard Bearer for British Legion

Tributes have been paid to William (Billy) Nimmons, a member of the loyal orders who was best known in Lisburn as the Standard Bearer of the local branch of the Royal British Legion

A service of thanksgiving for his life was held in Railway Street Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, April 22 with interment at Lisburn New Cemetery, Blaris.

Billy was born in Mullaghadaly, Co Tyrone, the second of four boys. A military man, he joined the army in 1962 and retired in 1995 after serving 33 and a half years and was proud to have had four cap badges during his career - Inniskilling (TA), Royal Army Service Corps (RASC), Royal Corps of Transport (RCT) and Royal Logistical Corps (RLC).

He travelled the world, spending time in Singapore, Thailand, Borneo and Germany, before ending his career in Lisburn.

Billy was a member of the Orange Order, Royal Black Institution and a Freemason but he was the Standard Bearer of Lisburn Branch of the Royal British Legion for about ten years. He retired last year due to ill health.

Rev Adrian McLernon, who conducted the service, said: “There was always a mischievous glint in Billy’s eye, as a child he was asked by his mum to keep an eye of his younger brother Jim who was in the high chair while mum got on with some chores.

“Not realising the danger, Billy thought a lighted candle might be a good way of keeping Jim entertained.

“Needless to say Jim has the scar to prove that it wasn’t one of Billy’s better decisions.

“In recent years Billy and grandson Joshua would go down frequently into Lisburn on school holidays, particularly on a Tuesday, safe you might think, well like grandfather like grandson they would dip their hands into the tank of live crabs just for the devilment before retiring to Green’s Coffee Dock.

“In fact this was a regular outing for Billy – he loved to take a trip into town and end up with a coffee.

“However Billy’s greatest love was family.

“Billy was a wonderful family man, a dedicated and loving husband, a fantastic dad, doting grandfather and loyal brother and brother in law.” he added.

Bertha Cowan presided at the organ and led the congregational hymns, ‘The Lord’s my Shepherd’ and ‘Abide with me’.

Billy was the loving husband of Edna, father to Deborah and a doting grandfather to Joshua.

He passed away suddenly on Good Friday (April 18) after a short illness and will be sadly missed by the family circle and all those who knew him.