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Christmas Island veteran dies at 93

PUBLISHED: 17:31 13 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:45 30 June 2010

A veteran of the notorious Christmas Island atom-bomb tests who once had tea with Winston Churchill has died at home aged 93.

Ron Ardley, of Caister, was well-known locally and nationally for his specialist interest in Cyprus stamps, running the Market Stamp Exchange Shop in Middlemarket Road, Great Yarmouth, until 1983.

A veteran of the notorious Christmas Island atom-bomb tests who once had tea with Winston Churchill has died at home aged 93.

Ron Ardley, of Caister, was well-known locally and nationally for his specialist interest in Cyprus stamps, running the Market Stamp Exchange Shop in Middlemarket Road, Great Yarmouth, until 1983.

Born in Colchester he served with the RAF for 33 years, throughout the second world war, and later fulfilled postings around the world until his retirement in 1970 when he and his wife Eva moved to Caister.

John Mariner of Great Yarmouth Stamp Club, said Ron was a member for nearly 40 years describing him as “tremendous asset to the club” and “a great friend.”

His daughter Christine Durrant, who now lives in Wiltshire, said her father, also a classically trained musician, was amazing for his age and totally independent. Determined to keep up with the modern world he took up computing in his 90s and was internet-ready. Just days before his death he planted one of 12 rose trees he had bought at Latham's, and cooked a batch of meals for the freezer.

He is survived by his son Harry in Norwich, daughter Christine and grandchildren Abigail and James.

His funeral is at Caister Parish Church on Monday at 11.30am.


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