Hundreds gather in Oaksey for thanksgiving service to Lord Oaksey

This Is Wiltshire: Lady Oaksey arrives at the church with Rory Boswell Lady Oaksey arrives at the church with Rory Boswell

Hundreds gathered on Friday at Oaksey parish church for a thanksgiving service to celebrate the life of John Oaksey.

The former jockey, journalist, broadcaster and founder of the Injured Jockeys Fund, was 83 when he died at his family home in Oaksey in September following a lengthy period of ill health.

Robin Rogers, chairman of Oaksey Parish Council, said: “There were 430 people there, it was standing room only.

“An address was given by Sir Edward Cazalet, a former High Court Judge and jockey, and by Brough Scott who rode with John Oaksey and was a racing commentator. He finished a very moving and funny homily by saying John Oaksey was a man the likes of which we will not see again.

“There was beautiful singing by the son of Edward Cazalet, Hal, who has a tremendous tenor voice. He sang Palis Angelicus.

“There was a reception afterwards at the village hall full of local people and people from Lambourn Racing.”

Friday’s service was the second of two thanksgiving events for Lord Oaksey. On Wednesday last week, a service was held at St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge, with a number of high-profile guests including the Princess Royal and former horse racing commentator, Sir Peter O’Sullevan.

Lord Oaksey founded the Injured Jockeys Foundation after initially setting up a fund to help Tim Brookshaw and Paddy Farrell, who suffered serious injuries in the 1964 jumps season and were left with no support.

The fund provides medical, financial and pastoral care, to jockeys, their spouses, or dependants who have suffered through injury. Lord Oaksey’s ambition was that the Fund should deliver assistance to injured jockeys and their families with the minimum of fuss and delay.

John Oaksey succeeded to the baronies on the death of his father in 1971, and now his son, Patrick, will take the title.

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