Farewell to the last of the Goons

 Fans of comic legend Spike Milligan kept vigil outside the church where his private family funeral was held on Friday. Around 100 family and friends of the 83-year-old Goon star attended the service at St Anthony of Padua's Catholic church in Rye, East Sussex. Spike's coffin was draped in the Irish flag and covered with floral tributes from his wife Sheelagh and his children. After the service he was buried at a cemetery in Winchelsea. A spokeswoman for St Anthony's said: "It was a wonderful service. They had their own choir and sang traditional hymns. Quite a few people gathered outside the church. There was quite a crowd." Spike Milligan was one the most innovative comedians of his generation. But throughout his life he suffered manic depression, and had several complete breakdowns. An accomplished poet, and author, he also played jazz cornet and trumpet and loved Bix Beiderbecke and Louis Armstrong. Milligan waged intense campaigns - against abortion, vivisection, factory farming, and needless noise among others. A committed Catholic, he once threatened to abandon the church and become a Buddhist when the Pope failed to excommunicate an American vivisectionist.

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