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Tributes to Radcliffe Royal British Legion servant
A FORMER chairman of the Radcliffe branch of the Royal British Legion, who was also the town’s Poppy Appeal organiser, has died.
Mr Barry Bleese lost his fight with cancer at Fairfield Hospital, on September 17 where he had been a patient for the past three months.
The 70-year-old, who lived in Wolsey Street, Radcliffe, leaves a wife Mary, two sons and a daughter, seven grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. He had been a member of the Radcliffe British Legion for many years and its chairman for more than 10 years.
After the branch folded two years ago, Mr Bleese continued to run the Royal British Legion’s charity shop, in Heber Street, until illness forced him to give up his work last September.
In 2006, due to dwindling mem- bership and finances, the branch had closed its building in Water Street and transferred to Heber Street, near the cenotaph.
As well as serving as a venue for monthly meetings, the new office had also embraced the small charity shop.
As well as his long service as chairman of the Royal British Legion’s Radcliffe branch, Mr Bleese became the town’s honorary Poppy Appeal organiser in 2009.
For many years, he was also a member of the Radcliffe-based Stopes Jennings Lodge of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes.
Throughout many years, he carried out substantial charity ork.
Born in Salford, Mr Bleese had lived in Radcliffe since 1976, and during his working life was a taxi driver.
Paying tribute, the former membership secretary of Radcliffe British Legion, Francis Casey, said: “Radcliffe has lost a good guy.
“For many years, he had put his heart and soul into his work for the Legion before illness forced him to give up.”
His wife Mary praised staff at Fairfield Hospital who cared for her husband during his time there.
A funeral service will be held at the East Lancashire Crem-atorium, in Radcliffe, tomorrow at 1pm.
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