The RNLI saves lives at sea.

Les Howell

Picture of Les Howell.

Leslie John Howell (Les) was born in Weston-Super-Mare on May 16th 1933, seven years later his family moved to Coventry with his father’s job. He survived the Blitz in the winter of 1940 and never forgot how his family hid under the stairs as bombs fell.

Later, the family returned to Weston and Les took his first job as a photographer’s assistant for Armstrong-Siddeley motors, photographing new car models. He joined the Royal Navy in 1951 serving all round the world, achieving the rank of Chief Petty Officer and was proud to be awarded the British Empire Medal for outstanding service in 1980. Les was in the Navy for 22 years, yet he never learned to swim!

After leaving the Navy full time, he served for fifteen years in the Royal Naval Reserve based at HMS Flying Fox in Bristol. His full time employment included sixteen years at UBM/MAC Builders Merchants and ten at Asda Distribution Centre - both jobs in accounting and auditing roles.

The ten years he spent in retirement were his happiest though, when he was more able to enjoy his interest in steam trains, gardening and holidays amongst many others. Les was also organiser of Worle Garden Group arranging visits to gardens across the country for many friends – he loved this role which he held for eight years and was especially dedicated to ensuring the success of each visit.

His long battle with cancer ended on 27th January 2009. Even while dying, he showed bravery, humour and sweetness and will be remembered as a man whose qualities so many aspire to. He was a true gentleman, loved by so many people. In his last days Les said appreciatively how God had been good to him for 75 years and how grateful he was to have been married to the best woman in the world.

He is survived by Audrey, his wife of 53 years, their four sons Martyn, Tony, Ian and Philip, six grandchildren and his sister Margaret.

Added by: Ian Howell on 31 March 2009.

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Picture of Les Howell.
Picture of Les Howell.

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The RNLI is a charity that provides a 24-hour lifesaving service around the UK and Republic of Ireland.

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