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Royal British Legion stalwart,85, dies

PUBLISHED: 14:17 01 January 2011

John Green with his award for outstanding contribution for the Royal British Legion.

John Green with his award for outstanding contribution for the Royal British Legion.

EDP pics © 2007

A SECOND world war veteran, who dedicated his life to supporting the Royal British Legion, has died at the age of 85.

Hemsby pensioner John Green was a familiar figure collecting for the poppy appeal despite increasing mobility problems.

Inspired by keeping the memory of the country’s fallen heroes alive, the great great grandfather helped raise tens of thousands of pounds for the charity.

Chairman of the Ormesby RBL branch for more than 60 years, Mr Green only retired from collecting three years ago due to ill-health.

Family members would be drafted in to support the fund-raising effort, which was carried out with military precision.

As many as five generations were involved on some occasions knocking on doors in Ormesby, Winterton, Hemsby, Filby and Scratby.

Honoured with medals for collecting for 50, 55, 60 years, Mr Green received the Edwin Vincent Challenge Cup for his outstanding contribution to the legion.

Attached to the US military police during the war, he served for time as a guard outside supreme allied commander General Dwight D Eisenhower’s headquarters.Mr Green met the general, who later served as President of the United States from 1953 to 1961, and was stationed in both India and Japan.

He served in the Royal Observer Corps after the war and soon started fund-raising for the legion to help fellow ex-servicemen.

A farm worker for more than 40 years, Mr Green was a keen gardener who loved growing chrysanthemums on his allotment.

Born in Winterton, he was given the nickname “Rinso” as a boy, after the brand of washing powder he was sent to buy for his mother.

Married to Joan, who died in 1988, the couple had three daughters, Margaret, Florence and Susan.

A dedicated family man, Mr Green took great delight in his nine grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and six great great grandchildren.

Daughter Susan said: “Dad was like a sergeant major planning a military operation during poppy collections.

“We would be given maps and clear instructions where we had to go.

“He looked back fondly on his military service, was totally dedicated to the legion, and proud to carry the standard on Remembrance Sunday.

“The best way I could describe dad is strong as a bull, gentle and very caring.”

The funeral service is at Winterton Parish Church on Wednesday at 11.30am.

A horse-drawn hearse will carry Mr Green from his home in Hemsby on his last tour of the village to his final resting place.

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