Dick was born on 12th February 1916, the youngest of 4 brothers, in Hounslow, Middlesex where he live and worked until the war broke out in 1942.
Dick's first love was the sea, so it was only natural that he joined the merchant navy during the war. In 1945, he suffered from serious internal war injuries and was discharged from his ship in Houston, Texas. He was then transferred to New York, where he had extensive surgery before coming home. He was invalided out of the navy in 1946.
A year after his first major operation at Guys Hospital in London, he was told he only five year to live - that was 50 years ago.
After the war he became a dental technician, which enabld him to use his obvious talents for anything involving using his hands - he was a true craftsman and artisan, He then had a period building boats, both traditional wooden ones and in fibreglass, until 1970 when he finally was forced into retirement from work after more surgery.
Dick was most talented when it came to anything to do with woodworking and made much of their furniture in their home using mainly traditional methods. His biggest achievement was making a number of violins, one of which won the Skinners Challenge Cup - a plaque for outstanding work in the woodcraft section of the War Pensioners National Home Crafts and Arts Competition, for its quality and craftsmanship.
|His other love was the little highlander and according to Joyce, her greatest rival. There were 6 westies over the years that kept both Dick and Joyce company, the last one being Zoe. She came to him at the age of 5 and was his constant companion and giving Dick much pleasure in his final days. Dogs and other animals seems to have had special affinity with him, one instance was the pheasant that came into his garden and that he could feed by hand.||
||Dick was a "fixer" who could find solutions to nearly every mechanical or practical problem. He loved solving problems and inventing and designing gadgets to make life easier. He would spend hours going aound hardware and tool shops looking for inspiration. Precision being a way of life to him, one enduring memory was the way he prepared and dressed a crab. It was like a military operation with him using the precision of a surgeon to get every last piece of meat out of the shell.|
As an individual he prided himself on being well turned out and on one occasion, recently, he was in a shop when a woman came up to him and said "You are so well turned out and your shoes so well polished that you must have been in the Navy". He was very proud of that.
Dick was smart, thoughtful, approachable, extremely clever and precise. He and Joyce were always together and after only 8 weeks apart are together again.