William Lee

1st Bn Lancashire Fusiliers
Anti Tank Platoon


Karen's Eulogy
Dad was born in 1938 to Minnie and William Lee on the 3rd of July at 8 Read Street Hyde. Dad grew up with 5 wonderful sisters, Pauline, Christine, Barbara, Janet and Denise.
For most of dad's early years he like many others at the time only had his mum around as his dad was away serving in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers during the war.
Dad always said he had a great childhood. Neville can second this as he was right by his side…they had the best gang in Hyde. When Manchester was being bombed they all climbed up to the top of the big green gasometer to watch.
He went to school in Hyde, Greenfield Street - known locally as Greeny!!
Dad told me a funny story recently about when he was 13 and attending Greeny, his PE teacher every time he was teaching boxing would single dad out and demonstrate on him! Not only did it hurt dad, but he also felt humiliated. Dad decided if the teacher did it again it was going to be different. So, when the PE teacher went to punch him, BANG! Dad got in first!!! Dad fled out of the school gates as quick as his legs would carry him and ran all the way home. His mum got a knock at the door a while later and to his surprise the teacher had come around to the house to apologise, he never got singled out again.
Dad's sister Christine remembers him always laughing, he even laughed when he broke his arm at Crompton's Farm. Christine said he would often be spotted running up Bobs Field with a jumper stuffed with Apples from Crompton's Orchard. Sometimes Crompie the farmer would be in hot pursuit waving a stick in anger, but he never did catch dad.
Dad was a bit of an all rounder when it came to sports and his nick name when playing cricket for Greeny was 'FLY' He also liked football and boxing and would also frequent Hyde Lads Club on Travis Street.
When Dad left school he started as an apprentice plumber but the money wasn't very good so he went to work in Houghton Dale Mill in Denton (wireworks) and then at Ashton Brothers.
At the age of 18, dad enlisted into the Lancashire Fusiliers as a regular. He was quickly posted to Cyprus to help out with the emergencies. It is now 1957, dad had never left home before and was on a ship, as a soldier heading towards the Cyprus insurgency. In the 3 years dad was in Cyprus he went from Lance Corporal to Corporal and served with the Anti-Tank Platoon. Dad was always very proud of his time with the Lancashire Fusiliers and he gained 2 very special friends.
Dad's sister Barbara remembers the return of her big brother from Cyprus very well. Her gorgeous big brother walked through the door in his uniform, Barbara was 9 at the time. She felt so proud of him, dad had brought her a watch with a white strap. She couldn't wait to take it to school to boast about her big brother.

Dad was now 21
A beautiful lady called Margaret entered his life, they met at the Angel in Dukinfield and in September 1960 were married here at St Marys Church. They had four amazing children, Andrew, Karen, Rebecca and David.
Memories of our childhood are of holidays in Wales, visiting castles and staying in caravans with gas lights and no toilets!!!. We holidayed in Torquay to see our cousins, which was a very long journey as we were all crammed into a mini but we loved those holidays.
When Andrew was a baby dad went to work at Senior Service a local factory that made cigarettes. Dads job was a section man, and he was also a shop steward. Dad played football for Senior Service and also loved to play squash, table tennis and badminton which were all on site. Dad made many friends working at Senior Service, Geoff was his shooting partner and the two of them would go up to Dove Holes often bringing back rabbit and pigeon for tea! Geoff and dad also worked together decorating for the local Council. Martin who was dads walking buddy recalls many trips with dad including 40-mile walks over the North Yorkshire Moors and trips up to Scotland. There was always a watering hole at the end of the walk but their favourite was the Dog and Partridge on Woodhead.
Dad, Martin, Robert and Cleggy were all reminiscing recently in hospital about the good old days. I had the privilege of listening in.
Pubs featured a lot in dad's life on both sides of the bar. The Whitegates in Hyde was his uncle's pub where dad was known to get up and have a sing song. That old black magic was a song dad liked to sing. Dad was also on the Whitegates football team. Dads cousin Carol ran the Cheshire Cheese in Newton where he would often help out. Dad also played pool and darts.
The Junction Inn next door to Senior Service was also run by the family and Robert, dad's cousin has many tales to tell, which I'm sure he will be doing later.
Dad went on to have 2 more lovely children, Jackie and Chris. Dad moved to Stalybridge and lived there with Ann for about 7 years on Wakefield Road.
Dads pals recall going round on match days and being fed Dads famous bean soup!
At the age of 44 dad moved to Norfolk, he spent 25 years in Martham. A charming village within the Broads National Park. Dad became a caretaker at a local school, he did this until he retired. Ryan recently recalled going to a pub called the Cringles when we used to visit. This is a place where he made many friends and entered into lots of Village life activities. Cycling was one of them as the Broads in Norfolk are very flat and David remembers going on many a bike ride with Dad. Dad loved Norfolk and to his Grandchildren he became known as Grandad Norfolk. He was a really good artist and painted many pictures. As children we loved art as a pastime and this skill has also been passed down to his grandchildren. Dad would paint many watercolours of the Norfolk Broads featuring Windmills and beautiful landscapes which he would then would send to us all.
Dads health in later years started to affect him and so it was with sadness that he decided to move back home, up north. Connections were kept alive with Norfolk through his pal Ken.
He first moved up to Mossley where his sisters lived, then back to Newton where he remained. He loved his little community in Newton, everyone was so kind and courteous. Dad loved going to Ashton to meet up with Pauline for a coffee and quite often would be joined by his other sisters, nieces and Ann and Jackie. My dad was always surrounded by women from the day he was born. Jackie remembers Dad going shopping with her once for a fake fur coat and asked him "Are you sure you don't mind shopping with me for womens clothes Dad" he replied Do I Eck Ive got 5 Bloody sisters!!!!

Dad loved his family gatherings with his cousins. Dads watering holes in Newton were the Railway with Bud and the King Bill where he had many friends and would sometimes meet up for tea time drinks with Andrew Nathan and Damian before going home to watch Every football match he could on TV while sitting in his big comfy chair!!!!!

In 2011 Dad went on a journey back to Cyprus to pay his respects to the fallen and in particular his pal Brian who had passed while serving aged 19. It was a very emotional journey for him. The UN took dad to no mans land where the graves of the fallen, the last resting place of the soldiers remain, at Wayne's Keep. This was dads first visit since leaving in 1959. Dad took many pictures when he was in Cyprus and throughout his life, he had a real love of the camera and carried one everywhere. It is because of dad we have so many captured memories.
Dad was a keen bird spotter and loved to watch the birds frequenting his bird feeder and could identify each one.
Another winged hobby of his was Angels and he has them displayed throughout his home.
Over the last 7 years dad fought many battles with his health including COPD, angina and prostate cancer. For a number of years dad managed to keep himself going and conquer the cancer.
Dads goal was to reach 80 - on the 3rd of July we celebrated dads 80th birthday in Hospital, 20 days later he gave up the fight and gained his wings.

Dads charm and Charisma were a testament to his infectious personality that has led us all to be gathered in this Church today.

R.I.P Dear Daddy we hold you close within our hearts and there you shall remain.