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Richard John Walter (Dick) Gillard



This website is dedicated to the memory of Richard John Walter Gillard, who was born in May 1927 and who died in April 1972.  Known as Dick Gillard to his family and friends, he was born in Gaisford Street, in Kentish Town, North London.  He died of lung cancer, in Benenden Chest Clinic, in Beneden, Kent in 1972.

The son of Richard Nathan Gillard and Doris Mary Gillard (nee Verinder), Dick Gillard married Nancy Patricia Finnimore in 1950.  The couple moved to Southover, in Bromley Kent, where they gave birth to two sons and a daughter: Richard, born 1952, Martin, born in 1954 and Lesley, born in 1961.

Dick Gillard reached his 18th birthday, and was conscripted into the army just a few days after the end of the second world war.  Most of his military service was conducted keeping the peace in Palestine.

On leaving the army Dick joined the Post Office and worked for that organisation all of his life.  He started work at the large Mount Pleasant depot, but while his sons were still very young he transferred to Bromley Post Office.  After Dick was promoted to the Sorting Office he divided his working life between the Sorting Offices of Bromley and Beckenham, as was customary for employees of Bromley Sorting Office at that time.

Dick cycled to work every day on a Rayleigh, three speed bicycle.

Dick had dreamed of being an engineer in his younger days and his oldest son has fond memories of searching through the science pages of his encyclopedias with him, looking at Gold Leaf Electroscopes and suchlike.  Apart from science, Dick's other passion was music.  He purchased a radio gramaphone, while his oldest child was still an infant.  He enjoyed listening to a wide range of music, from Greig, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Wagner and Rossini to the soundtracks of stage musicals such as My Fair Lady, The King and I, Carosel, Porgy and Bess and South Pacific.

Dick was a very creative individual and enjoyed making toys and models for his sons, fashioned in wood.  When his oldest son was a very small boy, Dick made him a wonderful model railway locomotive.  Painted red and black and made entirely of wood, excepting the red wheels, complete with rubber tyres, which Dick had purchased from whatever emporium would supply such things.  An inventive use of two cotton reels supplied the engines funnel and whistle.  The cabin at the rear had two 1.5 inch holes drilled into the front, as portholes, through which the train drivers of his son's imagination could look, in order to ensure that the way ahead was clear.

In later years Dicks creativity was stiffled, to some extent, by the fact that he needed to work long hours in order to feed his wife and family.  However, this creativity was revived, when his sons entered their teenage years and purchased a fret saw from some neighbouring children.  At that time, Dick and his sons would labour away in their garden shed, producing model forts for the children of friends and family.

Dick enjoyed socialising had spent many happy hours with friends and family, especially his brother Bernard and his wife Margaret, his sister in law Jeanette and her husband John and his friends Barbara and Ken Cope and Ruth and Erik Woodham.  An easy person to get along with, Dick was popular with his family and friends and also with their children.

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