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Friday, September 30, 2022

Firefighter James is driven through town on his final journey

* James's funeral cortege, escorted by a fire engine, makes its way along Castle Street and on to Mill Street.  

* The fire engine escort heads for the bridge.

* A group of people wait on the corner to pay their respects to James.

Fellow firefighters from Llangollen escorted one of their colleagues who died last month on his "final shout" earlier this lunchtime (Friday).  

James Rush passed away with malignant melanoma at the age of 39 in August leaving a wife and young daughter.

And the family chose a route for the funeral cortege which started from the fire station and went along the A5 and Castle Street where people could pay their respects to him as a Llangollen-based fire engine, manned by his friends, accompanied him on his last journey to Pentrebychan. 

James had been diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in 2020, having previously had a malignant mole removed in 2013, after which he had been given the all-clear. 

* James Rush with daughter Jess, now aged two-and-a-half.

He regularly checked his skin and monitored his moles, but as the melanoma had spread to his lymph nodes and organs, it was a persistent cough that led to the diagnosis.

His wife Jen said: “James’ latest scan had been clear and we were cautiously looking forward to the future and what we hoped might have been a few cancer-free years. 

"The discovery that the melanoma had spread to his brain and the speed at which it took his life – just 10 weeks from the brain scan - has been a shock for us all, and is a reminder of just how deadly the disease is.

"He trained to drive the engine, which he loved, and Ben Lloyd, the watch manager, said he had a real impact on the people he met during his time in the service."

Susanna Daniels, CEO of Melanoma Focus, a charity which James supported, said: “We are hugely saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and supporter, James Rush.

"James designed our fantastic melanoma awareness posters for our 2022 national campaign which featured in service stations across the UK. He also helped us shape our updated patient information explaining melanoma and various treatment options. 

"We will always be hugely grateful and endeavour to continue to raise awareness and fund research to improve the lives of people with melanoma.”

* Donations to Melanoma Focus in lieu of flowers are welcomed by the family and friends of James. You can pay tribute and make a donation online here: Tribute to James Rush, 1983 - 2022 (

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