Paul Nowicki, 90, began working as a building labourer in the late 1950s and operated digging machinery until his retirement.
He was the first person to drive a JCB in Bristol, where he settled as an asylum seeker after being forced to fight in the German army during the Second World War. The coffin of the pensioner, who died earlier this month, was placed in the digger’s excavator bucket at his home and driven for almost two miles to the crematorium. His son, John Nowicki, said his father wanted one of the iconic yellow vehicles to be used for his funeral instead of having a “huge religious ceremony”. He said: “He was the first driver to operate a JCB - a JCB Dinkum - in Bristol, in about 1959,” his son said.