By Gary Smee 17/02 Updated: 17/02 16:51
A FORMER mayor of Pershore who dedicated his life to helping others has died at the age of 87.
Richard Hampton was involved in numerous groups and societies, served as a district and town councillor for a number of years and was a governor at Pershore High School for more than a quarter of a century where a centre is named in his honour.
He passed away peacefully in his Cheshire home last Wednesday (February 8).
Mr Hampton, who served a two-year stint as mayor, was a close friend of current town councillor and ex-mayor Val Wood.
She described him as her mentor.
"He really was one of life's gentlemen and always looked at the positive side of things," she said.
"Richard was the one who encouraged me to become involved in local government, was a very dear friend and mentor who taught me to read a balance sheet!
"He was a great advocate of youth and obviously served for a long time on the board of Pershore High School.
"He is fondly remembered by all who knew him."
Born on May 1, 1924, Mr Hampton left school at the age of 16 to become an apprentice chemical engineer with May & Baker.
But by that time the Second World War was well underway and so at the age of 18 he signed up to the RAF.
During the conflict he served a number of missions over Italy, Austria and the Balkans before undertaking special ops in Burma and supply drops in the far east.
When he was demobbed in 1946 he trained as a teacher at Goldsmiths London but was recalled to the RAF in 1951.
Several years later Mr Hampton was posted to the USA as an exchange officer where he then worked on special projects in various states and taught at the RAF staff college.
He later worked at the NATO headquarters in Brussels and the Ministry of Defence in London.
Mr Hampton finally moved to Pershore in 1972 after decommissioning Throckmorton Airfield and then decided to stay for almost four decades.
A well-known face in the town he was involved in plenty of different organisations including the British Legion, RAFA, Rooftop Housing, chairman of Pershore Civic Society, Pershore Rotary, Probus and the Conservative Party.
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