Manchester

Funeral held for WW2 Last Post bugler Arthur Lane

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Media captionBuglers paid tribute to Arthur Lane at his funeral

A veteran who played the Last Post to mark the deaths of his fellow prisoners of war has had the same tribute paid to him after an appeal from his family.

Arthur Lane, 94, was held by the Japanese during World War Two and played the bugle piece for captives who died on the Burma-Thailand Railway.

The soldier, from Stockport, performed it more than 3,000 times in three-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war.

Mr Lane's family asked for someone to return the favour at his own funeral.

Musician Mike Greaves and his son stepped forward after an appeal on BBC Radio Manchester.

Image caption Arthur Lane, who died aged 94, was a Japanese Prisoner of War

Mr Lane's daughter, Glennys Singleton, said her father - who was in the Manchester Regiment - was known as "the musician to the dead", as he played the Last Post for any prisoner who died.

She said: "He had to work on the railway like everyone else, but at the end of the day there would be several bodies laid out and they would do a funeral pyre, or they would bury them and then dad would play the Last Post for his comrades.

"To get someone to play for him was the least I could do, as it was the last thing he could do for his comrades."

Steve Morris said Mr Lane played the Last Post at the funeral of his cousin, Private Eric Fletcher, who died in 1942 at a camp in Singapore.

"I was so sad to hear that Arthur had passed away," Mr Morris said. "He was a very brave man. He was a man this country can be very proud of."

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Image caption Arthur Lane played the Last Post more than 200 times during his time as a prisoner of war

About 13,000 Allied Prisoners and up to 100,000 civilian forced labourers died while constructing the notorious Thailand-Burma railway under the Japanese during 1942 and 1943.

Allied prisoners were shipped to Thailand from neighbouring countries to build the vital railway link for the Japanese military.

Using primitive tools and under great hardship, they constructed a 258-mile (415km) track in 14 months - a project it was thought would take five years.

It was dubbed the "Death Railway" because of the huge numbers of lives it claimed.

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