FAMILY, friends and the local community gathered to celebrate the life of Owen Cable on Saturday (February 15).

Twenty-three year-old Owen was suddenly taken ill at his Crymych home and desperate efforts to save his life were sadly to no avail and he died at Withybush Hospital.

And as Storm Dennis raged outside, Owen’s coffin was carried into Narberth Crematorium to the sounds of Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries

Hundreds of people attended Narberth Crematorium to pay their respects, among them many from the Army Cadet Force, where Owen had recently been named commander of the Cardigan detachment.

Dad Mark paid tribute to his son, saying Owen would be looking down and thinking ‘you silly sods’ – a quote from one of his favourite films, Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’.

Mr Cable described Owen, who had completed a degree in international politics and strategic studies at Aberystwyth University and was working at Jewsons in Crymych, as a generous and caring man, who would help anyone.

Owen loved his computer games, but the Army Cadets was his big passion.

“He achieved a huge amount and was one of only a few to achieve Master Cadet status,” said Mr Cable.

“He also wanted to be an officer in the Welsh Guards and went to Swansea recruiting office.

“But he was brought down a peg when asked if he had a second income and polo ponies. Most of the officers now come from the Home Counties.

“I could actually see him playing polo but I would pity the poor horse – Owen was a big lad! I think he would have been a great Welsh Guards officer and Welsh Guards, I am sorry, it’s your loss.”

The song Men of Harlech was sung, reflecting Owen’s love of the Welsh Guards, military history and the film Zulu.

And his wide-ranging taste in music was reflected by harpist Claire Jones, who played ‘Close to You’ by The Carpenters and ‘We’ll Meet Again’ by Dame Vera Lynn.

And uncle Andrew Cable, who delivered the eulogy, summed up the mood as he said: “Owen was a big lad with a big heart.”

Dad Mark added: “Jill and I would like to offer thanks to everyone in the local community, family, friends, neighbours and colleagues who have shown us such love, kindness and support in these dark days.

"We would also like to give our heartfelt thanks especially to Colin and Bethan Davies (our neighbours) who were the first to give help to Jill when Owen collapsed with Colin valiantly starting CPR and Shelley and Iwan from the Crymych First Responders for continuing to fight for Owen's life.

“This fight continued at the A&E department of Withybush Hospital. You all went above and beyond the call of duty when Owen needed you and we are so grateful.”