Tribute to Colin Beaumont-Edmonds

PUBLISHED: 13:03 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:42 14 April 2010

Colin Beaumont-Edmonds

Colin Beaumont-Edmonds

THE blind founder of Sid Vale and Eastern Devon Talking Newspaper, Colin Beaumont-Edmonds, has died, just months after moving with his wife Joyce to live near family in Bath.

THE blind founder of Sid Vale and Eastern Devon Talking Newspaper, Colin Beaumont-Edmonds, has died, just months after moving with his wife Joyce to live near family in Bath.

The group was formed 22 years ago, shortly after the couple moved to Sidmouth.

Kath Eveleigh, a founder member and first secretary, and husband Geoff, chairman for 12 years, paid tribute to Colin, 86, who was blinded in the Second World War.

She said: "He was an inspiration to us all and his wife was so supportive. When he took committee meetings he could sense when people wanted to speak."

Following a meeting called by the Lions, the group was formed after one planned in Honiton failed, and takes in Honiton, Axminster and Ottery St Mary.

Geoff said: "Colin was a blind man with a vision. He visualised the need for a talking newspaper and got one going. We are very proud to have met him and worked with him."

A dozen turned up to that first meeting. Now there are 80 volunteers operating eight teams to produce weekly news tapes for 107 visually impaired listeners.

Colin's military career began in 1942 when he was commissioned into the Queen's Royal Regiment. He quickly rose to the rank of captain.

While serving in North Africa he was injured and left totally blind. Later he was awarded the Military Cross for bravery.

In 1943, Colin returned to the UK, and joined St Dunstan's charity for blind ex-service men and women and attended the wartime training centre at Church Stretton.

This marked the beginning of an active civilian life and he went on to study at Oxford University before accepting a post at ICI.

In 1964, after many years as a councillor, he was elected as Mayor of Sutton Coldfield.

In 1986, he was elected president and a trustee of St Dunstan's, relinquishing his presidency at the age of 82.

He was also a member of Sidmouth Probus Club.

Colin and Joyce moved to Bath to be near to their daughter Felicia and Joyce remains there.

A cremation service held in Bath on October 14 was attended by Eric Jones and Maurice Budden from the Sidmouth group and representatives of St Dunstan's.

READERS' TRIBUTES:

Some years ago, I joined Colin's committee, of which he was Chairman, to raise money for blind people. He was always the gentleman and steered us all so well towards our aims. I had thought I hadn't seen him in Sidmouth recently as he often walked by my home on his way to town. He was always there on parade on Remembrance Sunday in London and will be very sadly missed, especially this coming weekend. He was an inspiration to all who knew him. With deepest sympathy to Joyce and Felicia.

Sylvia Brownlee


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