Obituaries

D. Roy Fuller

22/06/1922 - 2/01/2013

Douglas Roy Fuller was the eldest child of Albert and Selina Fuller and was born at Bexhill in 1922. In 1928 the family moved to Dittons, then in the parish of Westham.

After a period of enforced silence following the removal of the ropes, a new vicar at Westham had the bells brought back into use in 1938. It was then that Roy learnt to ring under the tuition of the late Leslie Tapp and he also attended practices at Christ Church, Eastbourne, where the late Harold Hobden was in charge, in order to improve his ringing.

In 1944 Roy joined the RAF and served as a Flight Engineer and Radio Mechanic, flying in Lancasters. He was demobilised in 1947 with the rank of Flight Sergeant having been employed on radar mechanical duties. In 1948 he joined the Air Ministry Works Department as an electrician and, subsequently, the Ministry of Defence in 1952 as a Radio Technician working on radar at RAF Wartling.

Whilst stationed in South Wales in 1944, Roy met Betty Davies and they were married in Llandaff Cathedral in January 1945. By 1950 they had a family of five children which did not allow much time for ringing but Roy did still ring at Westham when the opportunity arose. One such occasion was after the birth of Kathleen in 1948, when, having just delivered the baby, Nurse Murray (also a ringer) said “Come on Roy, everything’s done here, we now have a wedding to ring for.”

In 1960, Roy joined the band at Pevensey, where three of his daughters were already members of the church choir and Christine learnt to ring there at this time. Living in Westham, where there had been only intermittent ringing since 1945, and his family having now grown older, Roy was able in 1962 to teach a band to ring there on a regular basis, some of them being former ringers and some new recruits, including his daughter Kathleen and son Bob. Ringers came regularly from Battle, Bexhill and Eastbourne to help on practice nights and the band was soon established, with ringing continuing both for Sunday services and practice until the enforced silence in 2003.

In 1964, Roy’s employment with the Ministry of Defence required him and his family to move to Dorset, where he joined the band at Swanage. A further employment move took Roy to West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire in 1970 where, not only was he instrumental in raising the money to have the bells rehung in 1973 but also carried out much of the practical side of the work. In 1977 came his last employment move, this time to Benson, Oxfordshire. Whilst there he organised a number of weekend outings for the local ringers, was instrumental in starting up a tune ringing handbell team and held office as the Chairman of the South Oxfordshire Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild. In 1973 the Royal Air Force Guild of Bellringers was formed and Roy was a founder member, keeping up his membership until his death.

In 1983 Roy retired from his employment and moved back to his native Sussex in 1989 to live in Hailsham. Once again he joined the local band and became a regular and reliable member. He also served the church as a member of the Parochial Church Council for a number of years and carried out a number of tasks behind the scenes. The church clock was converted to electric winding in memory of Betty, who died in 1994.

Roy rang only a modest 16 peals but, having kept no records of them, he is thought to have rung in well over 150 quarter peals. He had to give up ringing about five years ago due to failing health but still kept in touch with ringing affairs and his membership of the Sussex County Association. His health continued to decline slowly and he died peacefully on 2nd January 2013.

Roy’s thanksgiving memorial service, a large part of which he had himself compiled, was held at Hailsham on 24th January. It was well attended by his family and many friends from the Royal British Legion, whose Standard was brought to the service, the Civil Service Retirement Fellowship, of which he was a past chairman, the Royal Air Forces Association and the Hailsham Council for Voluntary Service, all of which organisations he had belonged to and had supported over the years.

After his long life, lived out by his Christian faith in service to others, may he Rest in Peace.

ALAN BALDOCK

Benson, Oxon. 20 Jan, 1260 PB Triples: Maureen Bosley 1, Sue Dyke 2, Benji Coles 3, James Anderson-Besant 4, Brian Gray 5, Hilarie Rogers 6, John Tchighianoff (C) 7, Dave Perry 8. Rung in thanksgiving for the life of Roy Fuller who was a member of this tower 1977 – 1989. 1st Bob Triples inside: 4.

Easthampstead, Berks. 19 Jan, 1260 Oxford B Triples: Paul Fox 1, Barbara Wells 2, Judith Bowler 3, Stephen Wells 4, John Tchighianoff 5, Edward Martin 6, Rachel Moss (C) 7, Andrew Moss 8. Rung in Thanksgiving for the life of D. Roy Fuller, grandfather of the conductor, who passed away on 2nd January 2013.

BB BellBoard
CC
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers