The RNLI saves lives at sea.

Leslie John Hooker

Les was born in Hambledon on 24 July 1926, he died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Gosport on 29 December 2011.
On 18 January 1941, Les became an apprentice boat-builder for Percy M See at the Yacht Yard, Fareham (a company that is still operating even to this day).
On 22 January 1946, he joined the Navy as a Shipwright Artificer. During his 22 years of service he spent approximately 11 years of this seagoing on Aircraft Carriers, Frigates and Minesweepers.
He left the Navy in December 1967 as a Chief Petty Officer and joined HM Dockyard to resume his trade as a Shipwright and worked there until his early 60’s when he retired.
After retirement he continued to keep active by riding his bicycle and spending many hours tending his garden. Although arthritis caused him severe difficulties in later life he still rode an exercise bicycle in his house every day.
He was an extremely private and independent man and it was only in the past few years that he allowed me (his niece) and my husband to do things for him. He also started to talk a little about his travels. He was a very interesting man and although he may have spent many hours on his own he was always up-to-date with things going on in the outside world. He always was interested in hearing our news and the things that were happening within our family life. He was not one to want to talk about himself. As such, visits were enjoyable and interesting.
After he died, we found a couple of photo albums. Apart from some family photos there were many photos depicting his trips around the world when he was in the Navy. It gave us an insight into this quiet man in his younger years. He obviously found his travels and his work interesting however, we also saw pictures of him having fun with his colleagues too.
We always knew that he had the highest regard for the RNLI and that he had made a bequest to them in his will. If there was any significant reason other than a deep respect for people who risk their lives to save others, we do not know.
We had so much respect for your independence Uncle but we are so pleased that you allowed us more into your life in later years. We promise you – you are most definitely not forgotten.

Gordon and Lynda Chambers

Added by: A Anonymous on 3 January 2013.

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