‘Sidmouth was good to him’ Tributes left in memory of Sidmouth Royal British Legion president

Poppy Appeal collector, Kim Smith, aged 94, colecting at Sidmouth, Waitrose. Picture by Alex Walton.

Poppy Appeal collector, Kim Smith, aged 94, colecting at Sidmouth, Waitrose. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6204-44-13AW - Credit: Archant

Family and friends have led loving tributes to a ‘fantastic’ and much loved World War Two veteran and family man.

Charles Kimberly Smith, known as Kim, served as a captain in the Royal Artillery during World War Two before being severely wounded in Italy.

The veteran was a familiar face around the town after serving as a Sidmouth town councillor for two decades and president of the town’s Royal British Legion branch.

He died on October 17 at the age of 98.

Born in London, Kim worked in banking before and after the war, progressing from bank clerk to manager.

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While working in Chichester, he met Irene, his wife of 70 years. The couple married six months later in Holy Brompton Church - just four days after the Queen and Prince Philip were married.

On their wedding day, the streets were still decorated with flags to mark the royal couple’s nuptials in Westminster Abbey on November 20.

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Daughter Christine said: “He was very much a family man. He loved his family as much as he loved Sidmouth. He made the most of being here and got involved. He was quite a presence in the town, people went by saying hello to him. He said to me that ‘Sidmouth was very good to him’.”

The couple retired to Sidmouth and remained in love with the town, enjoying walks and attending Salcombe Regis Parish Church. Kim was a poppy collector until he was 97.

Dave O’Connor, chairman of the Sidmouth Royal British Legion branch, said: “He loved Sidmouth so much that he and his wife decided to make a home here.

“He was a fantastic man, great to work with, very knowledgeable, everyone loved Kim. He was always happy to assist. He will be missed.”

Ian McKenzie-Edwards, leader of Sidmouth Town Council, met Kim when he was first elected in 1988, and called him ‘scrupulous’ when he held the role of chairman of finance.

He added: “He played a very significant part in the community.”

A funeral service will be held at East Devon crematorium on Monday, November 12, at 12.15pm.

Family flowers only, but donations can be made to Royal British Legion, care of Potbury’s Funeral Service.

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