Tributes to former RAF serviceman 'Ted of Wem', a community and charity stalwart

Tributes have been paid to an RAF serviceman and community stalwart who has died aged 84.

Ted Davies
Ted Davies

Ted Davies, from Wem, was known for his charity work, supporting the Royal British Legion, The Macular Society and Blind Veterans.

He was also part of a detachment who looked after the future King Charles III when the monarch trained at RAF Cranwell, before he was awarded his pilot's wings in 1971.

Ted meets Prince Charles, now King Charles III

Ted also collected laptops for schools during lockdown, was a volunteer driver until he lost his sight and campaigned to save Wem swimming pool from closure.

And he was a successful businessman, becoming an insurance broker after leaving the RAF, and running several offices.

His daughter Tracy reflected on a man who had a 'zest to make the best of life'.

She said: "He certainly had a full and busy life. He was amazing and very much focused on helping others.

"He became known as 'Ted of Wem' and was always very active, championing a lot of things for people.

Ted's last posting with the RAF was at Shawbury but after leaving, Tracy said: "He kept strong links with the RAF and was very service-minded.

Ted was a charity supporter

"He was a strong monarchist too. When we were based at Cranwell, he drove Charles around sometimes.

"I actually got to meet The Queen at the time because we lived on the camp and she came to see Charles.

"There was a welcome party and I was in Brownies so got to shake Her Majesty's hand.

"It's strange because we lost dad within 12 hours of The Queen and we have just been saying, he probably wanted to rush up to heaven and have a chat with her because he loved the monarchy."

As a businessman, Ted became part of Chamber of Commerce and a local councillor in Wem.

"He campaigned on behalf of businesses," Tracy added. "He often described himself as a 'joiner' – not in the carpenter sense – but joining in on things.

"He was never passive or a bystander. His whole passion was getting involved in things.

"He would always say, he didn't like to just sit and moan. He suffered diabetes and was then diagnosed with macular degeneration (vision impairment resulting from deterioration of the central part of retina).

"But he didn't see those things as something to moan about. Instead, he set up a local group related to macular degeneration which became a lifeline for a lot of people who were lonely and isolated, living without their sight."

Ted Davies, known as 'Ted of Wem'

"He was passionate about local radio too because of its community aspect," Tracy added. "During lockdown, he was part of a BBC Radio Shropshire programme about happiness. He was on every week for about ten weeks, interviewed by Jim Hawkins and enjoyed that.

"He travelled the world, crossed the channel in a sail boat with the RAF, went mountain climbing and was a keen sportsman."

Ted was married to Margaret and in addition to Tracy had two step daughters, Sarah and Jo, as well as seven grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held for Ted at 11am on September 24. It will take place at St Peter & St Pauls church in Wem.

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