The RNLI saves lives at sea.

Charles Franklin Burton

Picture of Charles Franklin Burton.

Charles Franklin Burton (23 July 1926 – 20 October 2004)

Dad joined the Merchant Navy in September 1943 because he was too young for the Royal Navy. He joined up with Les Smith, who became his good friend and brother-in-law! They made several round the world trips, travelling together as stewards on troop ships. They refused trips if only one could go and spent time together in port. They served on the Rangitata, Bayona and the maiden voyage of the MV Empire Star.

While on shore leave Dad stayed at Les’ home in Croydon and met his sister Margaret. Dad’s sister Joan also stayed and the foursome friendships led to a double wedding in June 1947. We are still close, enjoying family celebrations and get-togethers.

After the war Dad managed shoe shops but never lost his love of the sea. He and Margaret lived by the sea for a lot of their 57 year marriage and they retired to Worthing in 1983 where he died following a series of strokes. He enjoyed his allotment and would take his produce home, proudly producing all sorts of vegetables from a carrier bag. He loved standing at the front gate talking to passers-by and was well known for his jokey sense of humour. He used to tell me that he is pointing at an ice-berg in this photo, but I never really knew whether to believe him or not!

He was an armchair supporter of the RNLI and we were touched by the donations made in his memory. He said if he won the lottery he wanted to have a lifeboat named after him – this is as close as he got.

Added by: Christine Edwards on 15 October 2007.

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Picture of Charles Franklin Burton.
Picture of Charles Franklin Burton.

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

As a charity, the RNLI relies on your support to carry on saving lives at sea.

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