Anthony Lawrence Hillidge (Born Anthony Lawrence Bedson) 1946 - 2021 .
Tony came from a military family, with both his birth father (Lawrence Harvey Bedson of Ellesmere) and his step-father (whose name he took on, though he wasn't officially adopted) being in the military. Tony went to military boarding school in Germany and then into Junior Leaders at the age of 15. From there he went full time into the army, serving in Cyprus, Hong Kong, Canada and British Guiana. He always said that the happiest days of his life were in the army and regretted being forced to leave due to family commitments. He spoke of his army life often, with fond memories of the good, and the bad, times.
After leaving the army he joined the Fire Service and remained as a Fireman until his retirement at the age of 55. By the time he retired from the Fire Service Tony and his wife Kerry had already set up an animal sanctuary, which Tony funded from his wages, so there was little time for retirement. He initially drove a HGV for a living, and then went on to set up his own business doing gardening and house maintenance. He worked hard both at the sanctuary and at his business, all with the aim of providing a better life for abused, abandoned and neglected animals. He had a good heart and tried to do his best.
When I look back on Tony's life I will think of him as both an adult helping the animals in need, and as a young recruit to the army, freezing and getting lost doing training in Snowdonia in the pouring rain - he was forever grateful to the farmer's wife that took him and his army mates in, dried them off, and fed them.
Kerry (Tony's wife)