Mr Philip Henry Sparrow of Almanzora, 22 Willersey Road, Badsey, has died at his home, aged 65. The only son of the late Mr & Mrs Louis Sparrow of Badsey, he was born in the village and had lived in Badsey all his life except for the period he was a prisoner of war under the Japanese. After leaving Badsey School he was employed for a short time by Littleton and Badsey Growers Ltd, but then took up employment as clerk with the late Mr V C E Cockerton of Badsey in his market gardening business. After the war he became clerk with the Badsey firm of F Stewart and Sons, farmers and market gardeners, and a few years ago was made a director of the firm. He was compelled to retire owing to ill health a little over two years ago. Throughout his life he had been connected and took an active interest in many of the local organisations. He had a great love for his church, attending Sunday School at St James’ Church, being a member of the church choir for many years, a lesson reader and a sidesman.
Early in the Second World War he volunteered for service and joined the Royal Air Force but was taken prisoner by the Japanese in 1942 and remained in Japanese hands until the end of the war. Soon after his return home he joined the Badsey branch of the Royal British Legion, and for the next 30 years almost dedicated his life to the work of the Legion. He became secretary of the local branch and served in this office for many years, later being made a vice-president, and at the time of his death was president of the branch. He was also service secretary and did a great deal of visiting sick members both at home and in hospital. He was also Group No 1 Organiser for many years until compelled to give up the office two years ago. For his devoted service to the Royal British Legion he was presented with four awards. In 1975 he received the National Certificate of Appreciation, in 1971 he received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Worcestershire county committee, in 1975 he received a Certificate of Appreciation in connection with the Poppy Appeal, and in January 1975 he was made a Life member of the Legion, also receiving the gold badge.
He became a member of Badsey parish council in 1958, serving as vice-chairman for several years, and was a sitting member at the time of his death. For more than 30 years he served on the Badsey Flower Show Committee, for many years as Hon Treasurer. He also served on the Badsey Remembrance Hall Committee both before and after the erection of the hall. In 1947 he married Miss Margaret Stratford of Evesham. He is survived by his wife and one sister.
St James’ Church, Badsey, was packed to capacity for the funeral service. The coffin was draped with the Union Jack and seven standards were present. Family mourners were Mrs P H Sparrow (widow), Mr & Mrs I L Pritchard (brother-in-law and sister), Mr & Mrs J Hesketh (brother-in-law and sister-in-law), Mr R Pritchard (nephew), Mr & Mrs A W Sparrow, Mr T C Sparrow, Mr & Mrs P Sparrow, Mr & Mrs L Bott, Mr Bill Sparrow (Swansea) and Mrs M Williams (cousins). Cremation followed at Cheltenham and the ashes will be scattered in the Garden of Remembrance at Badsey.
With thanks to Peter Stewart for providing us with a copy of this article.