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Top brass band to perform in memory of three inspirational community stalwarts

PUBLISHED: 10:56 03 October 2019 | UPDATED: 08:25 04 October 2019

Chris Davies (right), Derrick Leeder (top), and Harold Rackham (bottom) will be remembered with a special concert in Diss. Pictures: Archant Library

Chris Davies (right), Derrick Leeder (top), and Harold Rackham (bottom) will be remembered with a special concert in Diss. Pictures: Archant Library

Archant

The lives of three stalwarts of community life in Diss who have died in the past two years are to be celebrated with a special concert.

Kettering Citadel Band, many of whom play to an international standard within the Salvation Army, will perform a special concert in memory of three Diss men. Picture: Kettering Citadel BandKettering Citadel Band, many of whom play to an international standard within the Salvation Army, will perform a special concert in memory of three Diss men. Picture: Kettering Citadel Band

Chris Davies MBE, Harold Rackham and Derrick Leeder were all members of the Diss Salvation Army band with Derrick being the bandmaster for many years.

Now their community efforts in the town over many decades are to be recognised with a concert featuring one of the top Salvation Army bands in the UK.

Kettering Citadel Band, made up of talented musicians, many of whom play to an international standard within the Salvation Army, were so moved by the inspirational stories of the three men they volunteered to come and perform.

The Diss concert in memory of Chris Davies, Derrick Leeder and Harold Rackham will take place at the Salvation Army Hall in Sunnyside. Picture: Simon ParkinThe Diss concert in memory of Chris Davies, Derrick Leeder and Harold Rackham will take place at the Salvation Army Hall in Sunnyside. Picture: Simon Parkin

The concert at the Salvation Army Hall in Sunnyside, Diss, on October 19, which is being sponsored by Rosedale Funeral Home, with whom the men all had close links, is in aid of the Diss Salvation Army and Nelson's Journey, causes close to their hearts.

Chris Davies, who was made MBEs in 2005 after fostering children of soldiers involved in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and having himself served with the army in Kosovo, Bosnia, Germany and Nepal, died aged 64 following a car accident in 2017.

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Harold Rackham, a fourth generation master builder, served on the Diss Town Council for many years and was twice mayor of the town, also passed away in 2017 aged 74.

He was a lifelong Salvationist at the Diss Corps and volunteered much of his time to the Christian ministry there, especially his service in the band and songster brigade.

Derrick Leeder, one of the founding funeral directors at independent, family-run Rosedale Funeral Home, which has a branch on Victoria Road in Diss, died in August aged 76.

Richard Green, from Rosedale Funeral Home, said: "All three men played a pivotal role throughout the Rosedale Journey, and I was privileged to work alongside them.

"They were all very different and had their own unique talents and style, but I can honestly say I was inspired by them all.

"They were very special people, and the concert will be a fitting way in which to celebrate their lives. Kettering is a band of high professional standards and we are very lucky to have secured them to come and perform in Diss."

Tickets, priced £5 including light refreshments, are available on the door of the Salvation Army Hall, Sunnyside Diss.

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