Monty ‘loved Sidmouth’- say grieving family

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 April 2011 | UPDATED: 13:33 26 April 2011

Maurice Henry Dunford:

Maurice Henry Dunford: "He loved Sidmouth"


Tribute to Maurice Henry Dunford who died on April 14

A true Sidmothian

Retired master builder Maurice Henry Dunford, known as Monty, was the last of three brothers whose family firm was responsible for scores of Sidmouth homes.

Monty’s two children, Chris and Lesley, this week remembered their late father as ‘a wonderful dad and granddad with a passion for Sidmouth’.

“Despite having so many interests, it was his family that brought him the greatest joy,” they said.

Monty, of Sidford Road, suffered a fall in the snow on Christmas Eve while out delivering presents.

He never recovered and lost a battle with pneumonia last Thursday (April 14). Monty died in the loving arms of his family.

MONTY Dunford had a lifelong affinity with Sidmouth’s scouts and cubs that began when he was a schoolboy in the town.

He received the honour of having a cub pack named after him when he was recognised for 50 years service.

As a teenage soldier Monty served in Germany and North Africa. A love of sport picked up in the army saw him later race against the legendary Roger Bannister in pre-Olympic trials.

Monty returned to Sidmouth and became a master builder for his father Henry’s JH Dunford and Sons business.

Monty’s younger brothers Alan and Leslie joined him and helped the firm go on to construct a huge number of homes and extensions in areas such as Primley, Fortescue and Malden and Coulsdon Roads.

The three late brothers are survived by their sister Carolyn

Both Monty’s children today live in houses built by the family firm.

Monty was involved with FolkWeek from its beginnings and was well-known for making and lighting torches for its traditional final evening procession.

Keen gardener Monty was also well known for supporting the Royal British Legion and its annual poppy appeals.

A love of hobbies such as citizens band radio, stamps, postcards and a family tree project, saw him make a plethora of friends at various clubs in the town and further afield.

“He was always so full of life,” said daughter Lesley Morris.

“Even up until Christmas he would walk down through The Byes, along the seafront, and get the bus home every day- just to check the sea was still there,” she added

Monty’s wife of 44 years, Ann, died in 2000. The couple met at a dance in the town in 1951.

Royal British Legion members and scouts will bear their standards at Monty’s funeral at Sidmouth Parish Church on Thursday, April 28. A service will take place at 12.30pm.

Donations can be made to the Sidmouth Victoria Hospital Comforts Fund.

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