Thomas Charles Elliott (F 33-39).
The following notice has been submitted by Mrs Jennifer Elliott:
Thomas died on 28th March 2014. He was born in Stockport in 1921, the youngest of four children. Shortly afterwards the family moved to Cumbria where his father was employed in the Civil service. Tom’s father loved the countryside and every summer they decamped to an isolated cottage near Egremont, where he and Tom spent many happy hours beachcombing. Summer breaks became longer and longer until the cottage became their permanent home. Facilities were basic with no electricity supply but Tom’s mother managed to cater for everyone on a primus oven. When the cottage became full to bursting, Tom would pitch a tent in the garden for himself and the dog. He loved his schooldays at St Bees and excelled at cricket and rugby, retaining a lifelong interest in both sports.
On leaving school Tom began a maths degree at Liverpool University. However, after a year, and not being particularly academic, he was relieved to leave the course and join the Lancashire Fusileers. After training in Essex he was seconded to the 18th Royal Garhwal Rifles and sent to India. He loved the people and the culture there and learnt a little Urdu, practising it whenever he could on his return home. Towards the end of the war he served in Burma, Ceylon and Sumatra in conditions that were extremely volatile and dangerous.
Following demobilisation in 1947 Tom completed a short business course and joined west Cumberland Silk Mills as a quality controller. We met there when I was on work experience from my design course at the Royal college of Art. We married in 1955 and subsequently moved to Crosby, where Tom joined the personnel department at Littlewoods warehouses. After further training he was appointed personnel manager of a new company in Bolton, building up a staff of 1400 employees. He remained with the company until his retirement in 1986.
He was immensely proud of our two children, Lucie and Tim, and their families. His grandchildren, Holly, Jack and Eleanor were a constant joy to him. He followed their progress through school and university with great interest, always on hand to listen and advise. He was passionate about the Lake District and together we walked most of the fells and hills. We all miss his calm, philosophical approach to life, his interest in everything and everybody, his sense of humour and his total dependability and helpfulness. Since his death we have lost count of the number of times people have referred to him as a true gentleman.