Tring’s own Mr British Legion will be missed

British Legion Tring 85th Anniversary'Len Smith
British Legion Tring 85th Anniversary'Len Smith

A Royal British Legion stalwart has died after several years of ill health.

Grandfather-to-six Len Smith, of Adams Way, Tring, died in hospital on bank holiday Monday, May 27, aged 77 after contracting pneumonia.

The former RAF senior aircraftsman was the chairman of the Tring branch of the Legion before it merged with Berkhamsted and only stepped back when ill health forced him to do so.

Tring Legion welfare officer Pat Gray said: “Everything he did was for the British Legion. It gave him a lot of pleasure.

“Some of us affectionately called him Mr British Legion.

“He was losing his sight and that was the one thing that bugged him but he was coping amazingly well.”

Mr Smith, who suffered from Cushing’s Syndrome and glaucoma diabetes, would deliver Poppy Appeal donation boxes to locations across Tring, playing his part in raising thousands of pounds for the cause. Mrs Gray said: “He must have walked miles but he enjoyed it.”

Len’s daughter Carolyn Doe said: “His generosity, good spirits, passion and loving nature is why he was so loved by many and missed by all.”

In the same week, the branch lost another of its dedicated members – welfare officer and former Royal Engineer John Bowman, of Langdon Street, Tring, He received an award in 2012 for 35 years of collecting donations for the Poppy Appeal.