A FORMER gardener and leading church member has died aged 87.

Edward Beales, who was known as Ted, died in Colchester General Hospital on May 19 from pneumonia.

Born in Great Bentley in 1926, Mr Beales lied about his age in order to join the army during World War Two. He served with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders for around seven years, and was part of a peacekeeping mission in Palestine after the war ended.

He then went on to work for the local council, now Tendring Council, as a gardener and propagator. One of his jobs was the upkeep of Clacton’s seafront gardens.

Mr Beales, of Clacton, was a longstanding member of Trinity Methodist Church, in Pier Avenue. He attended the church for more than 50 years, and was a popular member of the congregation.

After retirement, he continued to enjoy gardening, along with travelling, reading and attending social clubs, such as the Holland-on-Sea Mens’ Club, the Clacton and North East Essex Arts and Literary Society and lunch clubs for the elderly.

Following a stroke last year, Mr Beales had been living at Edensor Nursing Home in Orwell Road.
Mr Beales, whose wife Pamela died in 1993, leaves a sister Stella, of St Osyth, and a son Mark, a former Gazette journalist who now lives in Thailand.

Mr Beales’ funeral will be held on May 27 at Weeley Crematorium, starting at 1.15pm, and then a service of thanksgiving will be held at Trinity Methodist Church afterwards. Donations to Cancer Research UK.