TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular Scout leader who survived the D-Day landings.
The funeral takes place today of Fred Heather, a former Scout leader with the 8th Southampton Wimpson Scout Troop, who has died aged 92.
He was known as “Bosun” among young people in Millbrook after reaching senior ranks in the movement.
Before this he served on minesweepers during the Second World War. His vessel was sent to France just before the D-Day landings and was caught in the crossfire, but he survived to tell the tale and went on to live a fulfilling life.
He became troop Scout leader in 1958 and was awarded the medal of merit in 1971.
Fred promoted canoeing within the troop and the Scouts would make their own fibreglass canoes.
Scouts were supported under his leadership in the Duke of Edinburgh Award and he was a key organiser of camp and summit meetings in the Lake District and Wales.
Throughout the years he was supported by his wife Dorrie and both worked tirelessly at the 8th headquarters in Millbrook and at Chorley Lodge – their New Forest base. Scouts affectionately called her “Duff” for her puddings at camps and she was also a member of the Scout fellowship.
Dorrie died in 2012, just three months before their 70th wedding anniversary.
Susan Haselden, Fred’s daughter, said her father was a “devoted” and “exceptional” family man.
She said: “He had phenomenal organising skills from his time working at Southampton Generation Station in the 1950s where he founded the camera club and through his many years in the Scout movement.
“He also had many other interests, including Marchwood Yacht Club, the Camping and Caravanning Club, and the Totton Wine Circle – but somehow managed to be a leading light in all of them.”
“But most of all he was a very funny man, a gentleman, kind and generous, and my friend. We spent a lot of time together and I shall miss him greatly.”
Friend Geoff Johnson, who was a Scout leader for the 8th troop for ten years, said: “Working with Fred certainly expanded my knowledge of scouting and my range of skills and activities.”
His funeral will be held at Wessex Vale Crematorium, West End.
All enquiries should be made to Waters and Sons funeral directors on 023 8043 4244.