Obituary: Frank Alexander – Lyndhurst parish councillor was active in many areas of village life
LONG-serving Lyndhurst Parish Councillor and Bartley School governor Frank Alexander has died at the age of 90.
The former chair of Lyndhurst Scout Group and a long-standing chair of the youth club committee, Frank took an active role in many aspects of village life from organising carnivals to donkey derbies and festive lights.
His daughter Claire said: “The problem was he went along to these village meetings and when they needed a volunteer he just couldn’t help but step forward.”
Frank was an only child, born in London in 1933. His family later moved out to Bromley where he vividly remembered preparations for the Battle of Britain and later D-Day, as well as the front of his house being blown apart by a bomb.
Frank won a scholarship to public school after completing his 11-plus exams and went on to study A-level chemistry, with an ambition to join the army.
He met his future wife Sylvia when they were at college together in south-east London.
However, after cadet training his father persuaded him to take a traineeship at CEGB which led him to gain the qualifications to become a chartered engineer.
The CEGB in-house training involved working in all areas of power stations from the lab to the blacksmith department.
Frank then undertook his National Service as a ships engine officer with the Royal Mail Line working on cargo and passenger ships in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and then across south and central America.
He and Sylvia were married in Eltham in Kent in 1958 and, four weeks after their wedding, Frank returned to sea for a six-month trip to the Caribbean and Argentina, with the time apart persuading him to leave the Merchant Navy.
Back on shore, Frank worked for an electrical contractor in London before returning to CEGB in a role at the recently opened Marchwood power station.
The family initially lived in Dibden before settling in Lyndhurst, where Frank had spent childhood holidays.
Frank then transferred to Fawley to lead the electrical commissioning team. He later became a charge engineer and production manager, with responsibility for a budget of several hundred million pounds.
Years later he was involved in overseeing the pilot computerisation of national power at Fawley.
Frank and Sylvia loved their life in Lyndhurst where they bought a large family house which was big enough to accommodate their ageing parents and young children.
Their son Graham was born in 1959, followed by Claire in 1962 and Ian in 1964.
Frank became a well-known figure in village life, serving on the parish council for 41 years, and a governor at Bartley School for 25 years. He also helped set up the Lyndhurst twinning Association, chaired the youth club management committee for several years, led the Lyndhurst Scout Group council and helped organise hundreds of village events over many years. He was also a long standing member of the Probus Club.
Sadly Sylvia passed away in 2012 but Frank was able to remain at home until shortly before his death. He was very proud of his grandchildren Callum, Ellen, Freya, Daniel and Sasha.
Those wishing to donate in Frank’s memory can give to Oakhaven Hospice.