PAY­ING TRIB­UTE TO COM­MU­NITY HERO

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by Tom Her­bert tom.her­bert@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @TRHer­bert

VIL­LAGERS have paid trib­ute to a com­mu­nity hero and a Royal Navy veteran.

Ken­neth Ar­ton was a long-stand­ing mem­ber of dif­fer­ent or­gan­i­sa­tions and served Chal­font St Peter in a num­ber of ways be­fore his death at Wex­ham Park Hospital on Satur­day March 26.

He was said to have been a font of knowl­edge about land own­er­ship and devel­op­ment in Chal­font St Peter and had, since re­tir­ing from his estate agency Chal­cross, con­tin­ued serve its res­i­dents.

He was the founder of the Cham­ber of Com­merce in its present for­mat and was hon­oured with life mem­ber in 1948. He was a com­mit­tee mem­ber for the vil­lage’s older per­sons ac­tion group (VOPAG) for many years, as well as serv­ing on the Com­mu­nity Safety Group, the Neigh­bour­hood Ac­tion Group (NAG) and the traf­fic and trans­port group, with good friend Ian Cor­bett.

He played a role in NAG’s re­cent ef­forts to stop Bucks County Coun­cil im­pos­ing park­ing me­ters in Mar­ket Place.

He also cam­paigned against the in­tru­sion of HS2 on Chal­font and ap­peared in front of the House of Com­mons Se­lect Com­mit­tee in Lon­don last year.

Mr Ar­ton also found time to be a reg­u­lar mem­ber of the Ger­rards Cross and Chal­font Probus Club.

He was an ac­tive mem­ber of the lo­cal Royal Bri­tish Le­gion for many years and had be­come a fix­ture at the front of Re­mem­brance Day pa­rades and at the Mar­ket Place en­trance of Bud­gens, where he was a poppy seller for many years.

Un­til re­cently, he could still be seen in the first week in De­cem­ber hang­ing Christ­mas lights on the tree at the bot­tom of the com­mon.

Mr Cor­bett said: “Ken­neth Ar­ton was an en­thu­si­as­tic mem­ber of many of our vil­lage or­gan­i­sa­tions and he was al­ways will­ing to give his time to help other peo­ple.”

At last month’s Chiltern Dis­trict Coun­cil’s Com­mu­nity Awards, Mr Ar­ton was awarded the Long Ser­vice Award, an award which hon­ours in­di­vid­u­als in the Chiltern dis­trict who go the ex­tra mile to en­hance the lives of oth­ers.

His award was re­ceived by long time friend and fel­low award win­ner Ken Adams who, to­gether with Chal­font St Peter par­ish coun­cil­lor Tony Shin­ner and chair­man Linda Smith, took the award to Mr Ar­ton in hospital.

Mr Shin­ner said: “Like many who knew Ken, I find that I didn’t re­ally know very much about him per­son­ally.

“The only time I man­aged to get Ken to talk about him­self was at func­tions like Re­mem­brance Sun­day, when I re­cently learned that he’d been as­signed to work on armed trawlers out of Liver­pool as part of the con­voy guard­ing op­er­a­tion.

“He said they had a crew of 14 and that, be­ing a trawler, it was sea­wor­thy but never very com­fort­able.

“He de­scribed the bore­dom of noth­ing much ever hap­pen­ing, save for one day when a Ger­man U-boat sur­faced af­ter a me­chan­i­cal break­down and his trawler took sur­ren­der of the ves­sel.

“Be­fore long though, a Royal Navy ves­sel emerged, took over and took full credit for their sur­ren­der.”

Mrs Smith, who knew Mr Ar­ton for a num­ber of years, added: “He will be missed. He was a very good cam­paigner and vol­un­teer in our vil­lage.

“He was known by lots of peo­ple, he took a big in­ter­est in this vil­lage.”

Fu­neral ar­range­ments for Mr Ar­ton have yet to be con­firmed.

Ken­neth Ar­ton

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