Sidmouth remembers garage man Douglas

A MAN who gave up a share in a furniture business to help keep his future wife s family garage running, died in hospital on Thursday following a stroke.

A MAN who gave up a share in a furniture business to help keep his future wife's family garage running, died in hospital on Thursday following a stroke.

Douglas Ginger, 85, wheelchair-bound following a major stroke three years ago, ran Station Road Garage and taxi business with his wife Rosemary Dean, before retiring in 1998 and selling the property for development.

Born in Naphill, Bucks, Douglas moved to High Wycombe aged seven and when older received a part share in a family furniture factory that made chairs.

A keen scouter, Douglas served as a telegraphist air gunner in the Fleet Air Arm, 849 squadron, and was only 18 when he went to war in Ireland and the far East, receiving a Burma Star.


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He flew off aircraft carriers and served on HMS Victorious in Palembang.

Douglas was overjoyed when years later members of the squadron started annual reunions.

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He met Rosemary at one of Sidmouth's well-known dances at the Manor Hall and Winter Gardens and he travelled to Sidmouth each weekend to help her mother Gladys run the garageafter the death of her father Eddie.

"We kept writing and he came to help us, then he sold his share in the furniture factory and put the money here," said Rosemary, who was engaged to Douglas when she was 21.

They married at Sidmouth Methodist Church in 1955 and in 1958 had their only daughter, Isabel.

"Douglas built up the garage when he sold the furniture factory," said Rosemary.

"For 20 years, while running the garage, we operated an accommodation bureau in the office."

A presentation was made to Douglas after he retired from this.

A keen member of the Burma Star Association, before it was laid up, and skittle player, Rosemary plans to have Road to Mandalay played at his funeral at Sidmouth Methodist Church at noon on Thursday, November 12.

After their garage was converted to flats, Douglas and Rosemary spent six years living in Wellington near Isabel, her husband David and their grandchildren Georgina, 14 and Mark, 16.

When they returned to Sidmouth they moved into one of these flats.

Douglas was a keen supporter of Sidmouth's Remembrance Parade and when no longer able to walk, Rosemary wheeled him in it.

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