Obituary - Hugh Stoddart, of Great Broughton
Last updated at 13:20, Friday, 01 March 2013
A popular Uppies and Downies player from Great Broughton has died aged 89.
Hugh Stoddart, who also took part in the village carnival and was an active member of the village’s Royal British Legion, died on February 8.
Mr Stoddart was born in 1924 at Brick Row, Northside, Workington, to parents William George and Hannah.
His father, known as Geordie, was a well-known countryman who taught him the ways of the country and a love of animals.
The family often had animals in their back yard including fox cubs, squirrels, dogs and a monkey.
The family moved to Hartington Street, Workington, in 1932 where Mr Stoddart lived until he joined the Royal Navy in 1942. He served as a butcher and then worked as a scaffolder to get money before being called up.
He trained on HMS Ganges before volunteering for combined operations, travelling to Tripoli, Italy, Pantelleria, Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily.
He later told harrowing stories of shells blasting through engine rooms and doors being blown off.
Mr Stoddart married Eleanor in 1944 while on leave before serving in the Far East.
He was nearly lost at sea several times before he travelled to India and Singapore.
He left the Royal Navy in 1946 and spent a few months at home in North Terrace, Broughton, before he joined the Merchant Navy where he stayed until 1949.
He then went steel erecting, travelled all over Britain and was given the accolade of being the highest man in the industry due to his bravery and lack of fear of heights.
His bravery was seen again when he saved a woman from drowning in Aberdeen harbour. He also stopped a bus on his way home from Workington to jump off the bridge to save a boy being carried down the river.
His love of heights often saw him working on roofs and at the highest point painting on a ladder.
The family had a history of hailing the ball in Workington’s mass Uppies and Downies football game, and Hugh hailed it twice in 1943 and 1953.
A newspaper report in 1943 stated that “a young sailor home from leave was egged on by his sweetheart and removed his fine coat, silk scarf and tunic. He swam the Derwent and waded through a culvert to hail the ball and dedicated it to the Royal Navy”.
Mr and Mrs Stoddart bought a caravan at Silloth where they enjoyed their time with family members.
He remained in Broughton for most of his life and was a popular character who supported the Royal British Legion and was a regular in the village pubs and the annual village carnival.
Granddaughter Clare Holloway said: “For the past 25 years Hugh’s other love has been his trips to Spain where he spent several months of the year in its warmer climate.
“He stayed in his brother’s villa for his first holidays and then later in his close friend Dougie’s villa.
“His last trip there was in June 2012. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.”
He is survived by brother Derek, sisters Joyce and Jean, daughters, Pauline, Carol and Elaine, seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
His funeral was held at Christ Church, Broughton, on February 14 where a Royal British Legion flag was placed on the coffin.
First published at 12:44, Friday, 01 March 2013
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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