SEDGLEY scouts formed a guard of honour to bid a final farewell to their tireless leader and inspirational community stalwart.

Hundreds of mourners turned out for the funeral of George Arthur Cox at All Saints Church, with his beloved First Sedgley Scout Group and Sedgley Morris Men, which he was an honorary member of, lining the church pathway.

George, who died on February 15, was 89 years old and dedicated the last 50 years to adult service in the scout, taking on the roles of assistant scout leader, group scout leader and chairman, as well as being a member of the Scout District Management Committee.

He was awarded the MBE by The Queen in 2009 for services to the community, regularly giving up his time to improve the facilities and conditions in the Sedgley area.

Back in 1960 George was the driving force behind getting much-needed headquarters built for the group.

He tirelessly fundraised for the cause to get the group out of rented accomodation and finally saw the building opened 17 years later in 1977, and it still continues to be used to this day by many community groups.

Away from scouting, George, who served with the Royal Marines during World War Two, was instrumental in setting up Sedgley’s Neighbourhood Watch Scheme and became chairman of the Dudley Area co-committee for seven years, overseeing 100 Neighbourhood Watch schemes around the borough.

He also single-handedly organised a used postage stamp collection, collecting more than one million stamps, which benefited a host of national charities including Guide Dogs for the Blind, The British Kidney Association, St John Ambulance and RNLI.

During the festive season George also found time to organise Christmas parties for Sedgley’s pensioners and children and was a regular member of Sedgley’s Local History Society.

He even worked alongside the Imperial War Museum and the Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England, helping them identify and recording war memorials around the country.

And as well as receiving the MBE, George, who spent his working life at Mander Brothers in Wolverhampton, was also the borough’s first recipient of The Frank Foley Award for outstanding services to the community in Dudley Council’s 2004 Civic Awards and also received the Medal of Meritorious Conduct by the Scout Association in 1985 and the Silver Acorn in recognition of distinguished service to the Scout Association in 2003.

Paying tribute to George on the group’s website, David Baugh, deputy chairman of 1st Sedgley Scout Group, said: “George was a true friend, a true inspiration, a true servant and a true scout.”

He leaves behind his wife Josephine, sons Andrew and Stephen, and two grandchildren, who led tributes to George during the funeral service at the Vicar Street church last Friday (March 1).