Tributes paid to former Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Fred Warner

A LONG-SERVING councillor and former Lord Mayor of Portsmouth has died at the age of 97.

Friday, 27th August 2021, 4:48 pm
Updated Friday, 27th August 2021, 4:49 pm
Portsmouth Lord Mayor Fred Warner was on the fiddle, but it was more of a screech if the contorted faces of these pupils was anything to go by. But it was all in good taste as Cllr Warner sportingly joined in a music lesson on a tour of St John’s College, Southsea

Honorary alderman Fred Warner represented Farlington for quarter of a century.

His widow, Iris Warner, described him as ‘a brilliant family man’ and as someone who was 'committed' to working for the city.

Born in 1924 in Portsmouth, Fred grew up in Gosport before moving into a career as an engineer for BT.

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The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Portsmouth, Fred and Iris Warner on board the Grove Club Juniors carnival float at the Paulsgrove Carnival in 1985

It was through work that he met his wife Iris with the couple marrying in November 1948.

In 1976 he was elected as a Conservative councillor for the first time, representing the Farlington ward until he stood down in 2002. Following a change in ward boundaries in 1983 the ward was renamed to Drayton and Farlington.

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Iris said his decision to stand for election was motivated by his desire to take actions whether others were unwilling to do so.

Fred Warner

‘He was always one of those people who wanted to do something,’ she said. ‘When others would always say 'why doesn't someone do something about this or that' he would step forward and get it done.

‘His focus was always on helping the city and he worked really hard to do that.’

In 1985 he was made lord mayor of Portsmouth with the highlight of his term being raising £150,000 to buy children's hospital equipment.

During this time he also set the foundation stone for the Port Solent development.

As a councillor, he was also a key supporter of the D-Day Museum (now the D-Day Story) and played a significant role in getting it opened in 1984.

After taking the decision to retire, Fred focused on his family and was ‘a dab hand around the house’', according to Iris.

She described Fred as ‘a tremendous and loving family man’ with the couple having a daughter, two grandsons and five great grandchildren.

Fred Warner died last on Friday, August 20 at the age of 97.

The current lord mayor of Portsmouth, councillor Frank Jonas, said: ‘We were sorry to hear of the passing of former lord mayor and honorary alderman Fred Warner, who served on the council from 1974-2002, and was lord mayor in 1985.

‘He gave over 25 years of great service to his city and his ward of Drayton and Farlington, and will be remembered fondly by many.’