Former Shropshire police chief dies at 95
A retired Shropshire police officer who followed his father into the county’s constabulary has died aged 95.
Donald Percival Ewels died in Hereford Hospital on December 22 following a short illness.
He served as a police officer for 30 years, joining the old Shropshire Constabulary in 1946 and rising to the rank of Chief Inspector in charge of West Mercia Police’s Ludlow sub division.
A memorial funeral service will be held at St Mary the Virgin’s Church, Bromfield on Friday, January 17, at noon following a private family cremation service at Shrewsbury.
Don Ewels started his career as a rural beat officer at Craven Arms and Middleton before becoming a Detective Constable based in Ludlow and Bridgnorth.
He was promoted to Sergeant in 1958, in charge of a new police station at Heathgates, Shrewsbury. Six years later he moved to Oswestry on promotion to Inspector, in charge of the town’s new police station.
For more than 40 years, Mr Ewels and his late wife Beryl lived at Chase View in Bromfield, near Ludlow, after they bought the parish’s former police station in the 1970s.
He was a keen gardener, winning awards at Bromfield Show with his vegetables and flowers. In earlier years, he was an active sportsman playing football and cricket for Shropshire Constabulary, football for Craven Arms and rugby for Ludlow R.F.C.
His eldest son Richard, said: “Dad was very much a countryman at heart. He knew the lanes and hamlets of south Shropshire like the back of his hand.
“He and mum were part of the Bromfield community for almost half a century and received tremendous friendship and support from local people.
“It was largely due to this support and that of other friends and family which enabled him to lead an independent life at Chase View for so long. But with failing mobility and increasing frailty, he finally became a resident of Churchill House Nursing Home in Ludlow last March.”
Richard said his father was immensely proud to have served with the Royal Naval Patrol Service during the Second World War on board converted trawlers and whalers engaged in anti-submarine patrols escorting convoys in the North Atlantic and Irish Sea.
After the war, joining the police became a family tradition as his father Percy was a constable stationed in Ludlow at the time of his birth in 1924. The tradition has continued with one of his grandchildren now a serving officer with West Mercia Police.
Mr Ewels is survived by his two sons Richard and Robert and sister Daphne. He also has four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.