Somersham: Sons’ tribute for ‘humble’ man, 61

“THANK you for making us the men we are today. We promise we won’t let you down.”

Those were the poignant words from Richard and Andrew Mittell in tribute to their dad Peter, 61, who died in a motorcycle accident in Little Blakenham in April.

In a eulogy read by Richard, 27, at his dad’s funeral, he said: “He was so much more than just my father. He was my best friend, my role model and my hero.

“He was and is everything a true gentleman should be – compassionate, humble, hard-working, selfless and above all else, unbelievably loyal to both his family and his friends.”

Mr Mittell, who lived in Somersham, worked as a prison officer at HMP Warren Hill and volunteered for the blood-running charity SERV – Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers.

He had a passion for motorbikes which developed into motorcycle scrambling and speedway riding where he rode for Ipswich Witches Juniors. His wife Deborah tragically died from a blood clot in 2008 which devastated the family.

Brother David Mittell, 59, said: “Peter worked hard to overcome the tragedy and his change of career to become a prison officer was instrumental in helping Peter cope with his tragic loss.

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“He was so proud and totally devoted to his job and earned the respect of his fellow officers and prisoners alike.”

More than 400 people turned out for Mr Mittell’s funeral last month.

The Prison Governess and officials from Warren Hill prison were part of the 100 officers who formed a guard of honour, and 60 motorbikes from SERV followed the funeral procession which was headed by a police escort.

David added: “It was amazing how many people turned out for the funeral. It shows how respected he was.” He leaves behind parents John, 86, and Audrey Mittell, 85, brothers Chris, 64, and David, and his sons.