Tribute to Telford hero Bob, 94, a ‘man for all seasons’

A Second World War soldier who raised thousands for a school died on Armistice Day.

Bob Urey and wife Pat
Bob Urey and wife Pat

Bob Urey, from Telford, died aged 94 last week. Bob, who was also a cattle farmer and a Salvation Army brass musician, was well known for his photography and gardening skills as well as his generosity.

He had three children, three step-children, 16 grandchildren, 32 great grandchildren and six great great grandchildren.

His son Bobby said: “He was a man who never looked for reward. His satisfaction came from helping others and being amongst those he cared for and he is remembered by generations of many across the region. Bob Urey was a true people person, a Christian indeed and a man for all seasons.”

In the Second World War, Bob was enlisted into his beloved Gordon Highlander regiment and carried out training in Scotland before his posting to the East.

Bob in his military days

When the war ended he return to his work on his dairy farm in the north.

For years he was reluctant to claim his medals, saying “those who didn’t return are the ones who deserve medals,” but as time passed his defiance softened and he became proud to wear them at Remembrance services.

During his wartime absence, Margaret, a land army girl had been posted onto his farm. On his return, romance blossomed and the two were married in 1948 and they had a son and two daughters. His pride and joy was his dairy herd of pedigree Jersey cows, though on a couple of occasions he was attacked by angry cows.

Bob arrived in Shropshire in 1962 to become the maintenance man on a farm at Weston Park. He helped to establish a youth club in the village and twice a year he would help produce and direct youth club concerts.

In 1967 he made a decision to leave farming for good and became employed at the Lilleshall Company’s housing section at St Georges.

Bob loved his grandchildren

He built a house hands-on in Wrockwardine Wood and the family were enjoying better days when his wife Margaret died suddenly, aged 40.

The stress took its toll and he left work, before later joining GKN Sankey in Telford as a shop steward and charge hand.

He met a new love, Pat, and they married in 1973

Following his retirement he became involved with the Oakengates dance academy and Wrockwardine Wood schools when Pat became caretaker.

He continued to support them until the recent pandemic.

Bob Urey was a popular Santa at Hoo Farm

He would incubate chicken eggs for the children to see hatch and keep silk worms for them to study.

As a keen photographer he raised thousands of pounds yearly by filming school events and producing videos for the schools to sell towards school funds.

He and Pat have captured many events on many occasions for many people across the country including christenings and weddings.

He had great affection for his ever growing family and adored his grandchildren.

For many years he became a big attraction at Hoo Farm as Santa with Pat as Mother Christmas.

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