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The Funeral of Chris Lewis

September 19, 2023

Chris Lewis, a member of Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team, was critically injured during the night of the 6/7th February 2021 during a deployment on Red Screes above Kirkstone Pass near Ambleside. Sadly, following a long and challenging recovery, after a very short illness Chris succumbed to pneumonia and died in Furness General Hospital on the 4th of September aged 62.  

Chris’s funeral was held on Monday the 18th September at St Peter’s Parish Church in Far Sawrey, a short walk across the fields from the home he had shared with his wife, Carol.  The funeral was exceptionally well attended by family and friends, with many drawn from the business, charity and mountain rescue communities where Chris was hugely respected as a colleague, fellow trustee and team member respectively.

As a significant mark of the respect in which Chris was held, Cumbria’s Lord Lieutenant Mr Alexander Scott, accompanied by his wife, Cumbria’s High Sheriff Mrs Samantha Scott, also attended, as did Supt. Gill Cherry representing Cumbria’s Chief Constable, and representatives of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Services, the North West Ambulance Service, and Great North Air Ambulance Service.

Understandably, mountain rescue personnel attended in great numbers, with representation in particular from Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team members and trustees, the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association and its teams, the North East Search and Rescue Association (who represented the six other Mountain Rescue regions), and Mountain Rescue England and Wales.

Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team provided a guard of honour with ice axes crossed over Chris’s coffin as it entered the church, the coffin borne by pall-bearers drawn from Chris’s fellow Team members, and the path to the church lined with other uniformed Mountain Rescue personnel.

A well attended reception followed at the nearby Tower Bank Arms where Chris and Carol were popular visitors.

Attendance at the service and the addresses within it reminded all that although Chris ultimately died as a result of his volunteering to assist others in distress on the mountains, his life was much more than that, and that as well as being Carol’s much loved partner in life, he had made very significant and highly valued contributions elsewhere in his professional career and charity work.