Burton Bradstock: Tributes paid to first leader of West Dorset District Council (From Bridport and Lyme Regis News)
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Burton Bradstock: Tributes paid to first leader of West Dorset District Council
TRIBUTES have been paid to the man affectionately known as ‘The Admiral’ after his death at the age of 88.
The comments came after Burton Bradstock resident Rear Admiral Gwyn Pritchard died peacefully at the Dorset County Hospital.
He was the first leader of West Dorset District Council and a former NATO commander for the Gibraltar/Mediterranean Maritime Command.
District council chairman Gillian Summers said Rear Admiral Pritchard was a shining example for everyone to follow.
She said: “He served West Dorset District Council from 1995 to 2007 and during that time he became our first leader of the council from 2001 to 2004.
“He was also a county councillor, and in order to give his best to West Dorset he gave up the county council when he became leader.
“He was a dedicated and highly respected council member, and a shining example for all councillors to follow.”
Rear Admiral Pritchard came to politics after a successful 41-year-old career with the Royal Navy.
He married his wife Tess in 1975 and they moved to Burton Bradstock two years later.
He retired in 1981, his last post being NATO commander for the Gibraltar/Mediterranean Maritime Command.
Rear Admiral Pritchard, who died on June 19, was elected to the county council in 1985 and served one council or another until he stood down as district council leader in 2004.
He was also president of the West Dorset Sports Trust, life vice president of the Weymouth Naval Association and Sea Cadets, chairman of the Joint Rural Development Commission and the Dorset branch of the Solders’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Association.
He loved to play golf and his long-term golfing partner Derek Parsons said: “He was someone you could count on. He was decisive, clear-headed and down to earth and straightforward.”
Weymouth RNA branch chairman Carl Robertson said: “Admiral Pritchard was a much loved officer and gentleman who joined Weymouth branch RNA over 25 years ago when he also became our president.
“He served us with dedication for over 25 years, and resigned a few years ago owing to ill health.”
He added: “Gwyn will be missed by all his shipmates of the branch.”
Rear Admiral Pritchard, who was a former aide-de-camp to the Queen, joined the navy as an 18-year-old able seaman.
He served during the war on destroyers and frigates before being commissioned in 1944. He served as second in command of the HMS Ark Royal as well as in senior posts ashore, including a term with the defence intelligence staff at the MOD as head of the Soviet naval section.
Rear Admiral Pritchard’s funeral will be on July 18 at 2pm in Burton Bradstock.