A family that has been in Buckinghamshire for five generations has paid tribute to a ‘free spirited family man’ by planting a commemorative apple tree in the town he loved.

This weekend, the Drewett family, who have lived in Marlow for five generations, paid tribute to one of their own by planting a memorial apple tree in the community orchard near Seymour Park in Marlow.

Christian Drewett, who passed away at 35 years old in August, leaving behind a loving family and a three-year-old daughter, lived in the town all his life and worked as a tree surgeon in the area, acquiring the nickname ‘local hardwood hero’ among his friends and customers.

It was his sister Tara who had the idea to plant an apple tree in his memory, and the family sought permission from Marlow Town Council and worked with Releaf Marlow to plant it near the Seymour Park play area, close to a spot frequented by his daughter, Nellie.

Tara hopes the three-year-old will pick the eating apples from the tree as it blossoms over the coming years, using them to cook crumble alongside her mother, Ria Savin, as they remember the man who was their devoted father and partner, respectively.  

Alongside the tree, Christian’s memory will live on through the lives he touched in Marlow, the impact of which was felt when 328 people walked behind a horse and carriage through the High Street for his funeral in October.

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He will also live on in the memories of those who knew and loved him for the “proper character” he was. Tara described her brother as “a cheeky chap” and a “cowboy boot-wearing, goose shooting, ginger bearded free spirit who was proud to be a family man”.

She added: “Christian was a true Marla boy. He loved the town and the people in it. He was old school and loved his local life. He didn’t have much but what he did have, he would give to anyone.

“The void he has left behind is unimaginable, but the whole family wouldn’t have been able to get through this without the town’s community support.

“It means a lot that anyone will be able to visit Seymour Park and remember my brother, where a little piece of him will remain in Marlow forever.”