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Air Cadets to form guard of honour at funeral of loyal sergeant

James Hockaday

Air Cadets will form a guard of honour today (Friday) at the funeral of their sergeant who has died at the age of 31.

Russell Elsom, of Meadfield Road, Langley, was found dead in his home by his sister Kat, 28, on Saturday, June 3.

His mother Tracy, who flew from Canada with Russell’s father Alex on hearing the news, spoke of her son’s love for the uniformed group.

He had joined Slough Air Cadets at 14 and stayed for six years, she said.

He later re-joined as a civilian instructor and rose through the adult ranks to become a uniformed sergeant last year.

“He just loved every-thing about it really,” Mrs Elsom said.

“We had no reason to believe that he wouldn’t carry on through the ranks.

“We’re immensely proud of what he’s achieved in his 31 years.”

Although the family is awaiting final confirmation of why Mr Elsom died, his mother says a coroner has confirmed he died of natural causes.

She said her son’s fellow air cadets were in ‘complete shock’ when they discovered the news.

“They can’t believe that someone who was so full of life and had so much going on for him suddenly wasn’t there,” she said.

The cadets will form a guard of honour at Mr Elsom’s funeral at St Mary’s Church in Church Street today (Friday).

His family have also visited colleagues at the Royal Mail Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre in Langley, where Mr Elsom worked as a manager, and praised the ‘phenomenal support’ of his friends there.

Mr Elsom started working at the Royal Mail centre at 18, after studying at the Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe and Herschel Grammar in Slough.

“They’ve been just phenomenal,” said Mrs Elsom. “They’ve been really supportive.

“The comments that we’ve had from people and the reaction that we’ve had has just been out of this world.”

Mr Elsom was also an avid reader, keen on science fiction, who studied creative writing at the Open University and wrote his own stories.


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