A WAR veteran who put his heart into helping out his community has died.

Long-time Dovercourt resident Gerald Clarke passed away in hospital with his family by his side on October 28, aged 92.

Gerald, who was born in Thrandeston, Suffolk, in 1924, went to fight in the Second World War when he was 18, serving in Italy and Greece.

On his return, he became tired of his barbering job and worked as maintenance engineer for the Co-op in Stowmarket, Suffolk.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

He then met his wife Pam Rudland, of Bathside, at Butlins, in Skegness, in 1954, and they married in Saint Nicholas Church, Harwich, in 1957.

After living in Stowmarket for a short time, they moved to Harwich and had two children, John and Julia.

Gerald then worked at Nor Systems, in Valley Road, Dovercourt, as a design and development engineer until he retired in 1990.

His son, John, 52, of Ingestre Street, said his dad always used his skills to help others and became involved with projects within the community, including Dovercourt Skating Rink, the Harwich Motorcycle Club and the Mayflower Project.

In the 1970s he built a giant skating boot for the Skating Rink’s float when Harwich used to hold a summer carnival.

He also became very involved with the Harwich Motorcycle Club at around the same time where he worked at the weekends to run the junior section of the club organising trials and competitions.

In more recent years he became a supporter of the Mayflower Project and he built a model of the Mayflower which was used at their events to promote the project.

John said: “He didn’t let life get him down much and he was always quite a positive person.

“He would always help people and do loads for me and my sister as kids. He was always helping if someone came round when something broke too.”

He added: “He will be very fondly remembered and sadly missed by family and friends.”