A full military funeral was a fitting farewell for a man remembered by his son as "always in command".

Major Thomas Neville (Tom) Turner was buried at Aramoho Cemetery yesterday, following a funeral service at Dempsey & Forrest.

Brigadier John Dennistoun-Wood told the funeral service Major Turner was proud of his 20-and-a-half-year military career which began with training at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was in the Royal New Zealand Infantry, 2nd Battalion. He served in Malaya and Vietnam and spent a number of years working in military intelligence.

After leaving the military in 1978, Major Turner worked as a teacher.


Simon Ewing-Jarvie, also a former infantryman, met Major Turner when both were living on boats in the Marlborough Sounds and described his friend as "comfortable with his eccentricity".

He said Major Turner was a pool shark who liked a good debate. He was also a kind man who helped elderly people in the community.

Son Tom said his father was "always in command", a reflection of his military career.

"He planned, he decided and he acted," Mr Turner said.

One of his father's favourite quips was "If I wake up in the morning it's a good day. If I get to 1700 hours I'm going to celebrate".

Major Turner's final journey was on a gun carriage from the entrance to the cemetery to the RSA section where he was buried. His casket was accompanied by a military escort, firing party and drummers.

Following the ode read by veteran Mac McCallion, the firing party fired three volleys and a bugler played The Last Post.