County to celebrate life of David Laing at public memorial service for former High Sheriff and Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire

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The family of David Laing, former High Sheriff and Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, has invited county residents to a memorial service in his honour.

Mr Laing died aged 78 on March 3 from pancreatic cancer, just months after being a awarded a CBE in the 2024 New Year Honours list.

His widow Mary wants the service of thanksgiving to be ‘a celebration of him’ and his adopted county, Northamptonshire.

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Friends, family and the wider community will gather on June 24 at 1.30pm at All Saints Church in Northampton.

David Laing/ Laing familyDavid Laing/ Laing family
David Laing/ Laing family
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Tributes paid to former Lord Lieutenant for Northamptonshire David Laing who has...

Mrs Laing said: “His idea for the service was to celebrate Northamptonshire. He chose the hymns and the music. It will be a celebration.”

Born in Devon he was the grandson of Sir John Laing, founder of John Laing Construction who encouraged his children to donate to charitable causes.

Mr Laing trained as an architect and settled down to married life in Herfordshire with wife Mary – they had four sons and one daughter.

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The couple moved their family home to Northamptonshire, completing a two-year full restoration of Grade II listed Fermyn Woods Hall near Brigstock before moving to Grafton Underwood.

It was in Grafton where Mr Laing held goodbye tea parties for friends after his terminal cancer diagnosis. When he became too ill to travel, dancers from the Birmingham Royal Ballet, a company he championed, travelled to his village to put on a special show.

Mrs Laing said: “That was a real eye-opener to who he was.

"When he died I received hundreds of letters from across the UK including a personal one from The King. He didn’t have to do that, it’s quite extraordinary."

After the memorial celebration service, Northampton’s Royal and Derngate will host a reception.

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The Service of Thanksgiving takes place on June 24, 2024, at 1.30pm, in All Saints Church, Northampton. Those wishing to attend should email [email protected].

Mrs Laing added: “We are committed to continuing to let David’s light shine on. He believed that anyone could do anything – and as he would say ‘let your light shine’.”

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