Former Royal Marine who served the local community as councillor for 16 years passes away

MISSED Cllr David Farrow
MISSED Cllr David Farrow
The fragment from the Union Jack believed to have flown on board HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Credit: Sotheby's

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HE WAS in the Royal Marines for 22 years and travelled across the globe, from Suez to Singapore.

Later in life David Farrow became a pillar of the community, representing Purbrook on Havant Borough Council for 16 years and becoming Havant Mayor at the turn of the millennium.

He died on Boxing Day at the age of 76 from heart failure following a short battle with cancer.

Community leaders have paid tribute to Mr Farrow, who was a Conservative councillor for Purbrook and lived in his ward at Tanners Ridge.

Barry Gardner, a former Labour councillor, said: ‘He was a hero. He fought in 11 different combat zones. He was well-spoken and a very nice man.’

Mr Farrow hailed from Norfolk and met his wife Hilary, who is a serving Purbrook councillor, in Portsmouth shortly after joining the Royal Marines.

Mrs Farrow remembered fondly the time they met on Eastney beach.

She said: ‘I was with two of my friends and we were sitting on the beach. Three of them went jogging past. They stopped and came back!’

The pair struck up a friendship and it was the beginning of a long and happy marriage of 54 years.

During his time in the Marines, Mr Farrow, who worked his way up to Colour Sergeant, saw service in the Arabian Peninsula, Cyprus and Malaysia.

Mrs Farrow said: ‘He’d been to all kinds of places that have had earthquakes and floods.

‘He’d really seen life. I always said he ought to write a book about it.’

After leaving the Marines in 1975, he worked for 12 years as a chief driving instructor for the MoD at Bordon.

He became a councillor for 1995 and will be remembered by many as the chairman of the planning committee, a position he held for six years.

He was the mayor for 1999/2000 and was instrumental in setting up an Autistic Support Group in the borough, as well as organising a hugely successful charity concert at Purbrook Park School.

Council leader Tony Briggs said: ‘The people of Purbrook and the council have lost a dedicated public servant. We are all eternally grateful for David’s contribution over many years.’

He leaves behind his wife Hilary, children Lorraine and David, five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

A civic funeral service will be held at St Faith’s Church, Havant, on January 30 at midday. A private committal service for family and close friends will be held at Portchester Crematorium at 1.30pm.

Born November 29, 1935; died December 26, 2011.