Tributes paid to Colne Legion Club stalwart

SORELY MISSED: Edward 'Ted' Ratcliffe (S)
SORELY MISSED: Edward 'Ted' Ratcliffe (S)

A FORMER national serviceman, said to have been “part of the fixtures and fittings of Colne Legion Club”, has died.

Edward “Ted” Ratcliffe (78), of Clarence Street, served on the club’s committee for many years, before going on to become its chairman.

He will be remembered for his commitment and involvement in many significant events in the club’s history, including the major redevelopment of its building in the early 1990s.

Ted, who was also well-known for his role as chief superintendent at Rolls-Royce, in Barnoldswick, served in the Middle East during the Suez conflict.

He was winner of the General Service Medal, Clasp “Suez”, and in recognition of his devoted service to the Royal British Legion he was also awarded the Legion’s second highest award, The Gold Badge, in 2006.

After becoming the local appeal organiser he revitalised the Poppy Appeal in Colne.

And according to a spokesman for Colne Legion Club and the Colne branch of the Royal British Legion his skills ensured that collections from the people of Colne and the surrounding villages significantly increased year on year. The system that he handed over still works to this day.

The spokesman said: “Ted was a staunch supporter of all the principles the Legion stands for, and continued to be so after he chose to retire from committee life.

“He retired from the committee in 2005 but his wisdom and influence was still sought on a regular basis. He continued to campaign to ensure that ex-servicemen and women received the support they deserved from the club and branch.

“In his passing, his larger than life presence will be sorely missed.”

Over the past seven-and-a-half-years, Ted dedicated a lot of his time to caring for his wife Joan.

Paying tribute, his daughter Andrea Ratcliffe (41), who works for the Citizens Advice Bureaux, said: “My dad’s caring way came out as he had to look after my mum. A lovingness came out of him.

“He did really well, and made sure she had everything she wanted.

“I would like to say a big thankyou to Quality Care and to the Legion for everything they have done.”

Ted’s funeral took place at Sacred Heart Church on Tuesday, followeed by cremation at Skipton.

His best friend and former club secretary of the Legion, Mick Shaw, was invited to arrive at the service in the family car.

Donations are being given to the Poppy Appeal. Money is being collected by Helliwells Funeral Service.