A ‘heroic’ World War Two veteran who took part in the D-Day landings and lived in Horsham for more than 40 years died aged 93 last week.
Ron Pidgley also wrote about his wartime experiences, which included storming Sword Beach in Normandy as a commando, and raids in Norway and North Africa.
A GPO telephone engineer for more than 40 years, he and his wife Sheila moved to Horsham from Petworth in the 1960s with their three children Michael, Janet and Colin, where they had their fourth child, Christine.
He taught calligraphy evening classes at Forest School, was involved in the Coolham Airfield Memorial, and did countless sign writing for charities and Horsham town centre events over the years.
His daughter Christine Relf said: “He had a real love of the countryside, teaching his children the names of trees from an early age.
“He loved taking his lunch break along the banks of the canal and watching the wildlife.”
Both Sheila and Ron were enthusiastic gardeners, with tomato growing his ‘pride and joy’.
He finished his book on his experiences on D-Day two months ago in preparation for the 70th anniversary in 2014.
A friend of Ron’s said: “He would not have agreed that he was a hero and in fact said quite the opposite, but he was.
“He went ashore on D-Day as a commando, following Lord Lovat up the beach and was in action for 85 days with no rest.”
Sheila and Ron moved to Hailsham in 2005, celebrating their 68th wedding anniversary this year. They have four grandchildren Nick, Guy, Dan and Abi.
The funeral will be held at Eastbourne Crematorium on Friday November 1 at 12.15pm. Donations to Butlers Funeral Directors, 5 Station Road, Hailsham, 01323 840086.
To order a copy of Ron’s book for £3.50 email firstname.lastname@example.org