Councillor Bob Rand 87 died on Wednesday, 13 March 2013, at Frimley Park Hospital, after a brief illness.
Born in 1926, in the small County Durham coal-mining village of Butterknowle, he was 13 when the Second World War began. Bob was too young to join the armed forces, so he took the earliest opportunity and trained as a radio operator, and at 17 he joined the merchant navy, spending the remainder of the war years travelling worldwide.
Many adventures followed; the most dramatic of which took place in 1944. The British cargo ship the SS Empire Tourist, having dropped off its war supplies in northern Russia, was returning, laden with timber, when it was struck by a torpedo! The wood was proved to be a wonderful buoyancy aid; allowing the crew enough time to get into the ship’s lifeboats with no casualties, before the vessel sank.
Other voyages and adventures followed, but Bob, modest as ever, always said he’d missed the worst of it. Two years after the war he joined the Met Office.
For the next few years, Bob enjoyed the peace, albeit somewhat recklessly, by falling off a succession of motorbikes. But this did at least give him the pleasure of fixing them, as he always enjoyed motor mechanics, tinkering with engines and making repairs.
He subsequently met and married Diana. Their two children, Sally and Michael, were born in 1958 and 1960, respectively.
In 1962 came the move to Crowthorne where he continued his career at the Met Office in radio communications. Bob retired in 1986, after 40 years with the Met Office
Diana sadly passed away in 1988 after a long illness.
Bob was married for a second time, to Brenda. They were both retired with the children grown up and gone; so were able to follow the adventurous spirit of their earlier experiences, with trips to Australia, New Zealand and other distant lands. This period of their lives was a happy time, albeit all too short, with Brenda’s untimely death in 1995.
Bob served as a conscientious member of Crowthorne Parish Council for 24 years from 1989. He contributed towards the improved welfare of local residents throughout his long and selfless public service.
He was an active member of the British Legion and a keen Radio Amateur.
Bob joined East Berkshire Golf Club back in the early 1980’s. Over the years, this membership took on an increasing significance, providing him with an essential social focus and source of many firm friendships. Latterly, Bob spent much more time at the “nineteenth hole”!
We shall remember Bob as a careful, competent planner and administrator: a quiet man, who pursued a quiet life - he will be sadly missed.