He was a warm-hearted and very generous family man, who was loved by his family and many friends alike.
A keen supporter of many charities - the RNLI, Royal British Legion, Cancer Research, Erskine Hospital for ex-Service men and women, the Post Office's Yellow Brick Road children's charity, and the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund - he gave his money, but most of all he gave his time and support to those less able or fortunate.
He joined the Royal Navy as a boy seaman in 1952 (and gained his lifelong nickname of Chalky); serving in the Mediterranean, Home Fleet and Persian Gulf during his 10 years in the service. After leaving the Royal Navy, Dad started to work for the Post Office, but the Navy remained an important part of his life and, following five years in the Fleet Reserve, he joined the Royal Naval Reserves - progressing to chief petty officer, acting as coxswain on minesweepers and teaching classes of new entrants; he also helped to form the Calliope Association on Tyneside.
In 1968, whilst serving with the RNR, he performed a courageous act during an incident on board HMS Northumbria, for which he received a commendation. He was also granted the Lord Lieutenant's Award in 1987, and awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours four years later for his 'services to the Royal Naval Reserves', to which he dedicated 24 years of his life. (Dad, Mam and myself travelled down to Portsmouth where he received his B.E.M. on board HMS Victory.)
He was also a member of the Fellowship of the Services for 35 years, taking on various key roles, including that of standard bearer at military parades and funerals.
After 33 years working for the Post Office, Dad retired in 1995 and spent the next nine years converting old vehicles into campervans so that he and Mam could travel the UK - from John O'Groats to Land's End and everywhere inbetween.
He was a very practical person, with many hobbies and interests - he enjoyed building scenery for his model railway; growing veg, training bonsai and building new features in the garden; tapestry; cooking; reading; making knot pictures and bell pulls; glass painting; walking the dog... he was never bored!
My Dad led a very full and happy life, but every day I miss him and wish he was still around. He touched many people's lives though, and he lives on in our hearts and memories.
To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die.
(Thomas Campbell, 'Hallowed Ground')
I love you Dad. xxx