Navy farewells young 'Julius Caesar'
Fri, 11 May 2012 6:25p.m.
By Ingrid Hipkiss
Able seaman Ben Revell was farewelled with full ceremonial honours at the Devonport naval base today.
Mr Revell died from motor neuron disease, just a year after being diagnosed and the day after seeing his baby daughter baptised.
A passionate haka marked Mr Revell's final journey from the naval base, and the funeral was attended by his parents, wife, baby daughter and hundreds of mourners.
Just a year ago Mr Revell was diagnosed with motor neurone disease - or MND - an incurable muscle wasting condition that robbed him of his life at just 27.
“You could say he was like Julius Caesar because he came, he saw and he conquered our hearts – even though his body was frail, his spirit was unbreakable,” says friend, Tom Swingler.
His wife Malia said he had left his family with a precious gift.
“Our daughter Luisa is three months today – we love you and we always will,” says Malia Revell.
Mr Revell's final wish was to see Luisa baptised, in naval tradition, on the HMNZS Te Mana.
He fulfilled that wish but died the next morning.
“We, his navy family, are very proud of him and the dedicated and loyal service he gave,” says Lieutenant Commander Steve Barker. “He will be fondly remembered and sadly missed.”
Mr Revell also wanted to raise awareness about MND, and his campaign raised thousands of dollars to reach that goal too.
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16/05/2012 7:39:53 p.m.
Theresa Brown wrote:
So sad to hear Ben. Thinking of you all especially you Malia you are a wonderful woman. Adele and Rose you are amazing! I will come and see you soon.
Love Theresa x
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