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Obituary: Frank Coleman – former Hythe police chief inspector

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A FORMER Hythe chief police inspector, who lived in the area for more than 50 years, has died aged 95.

Frank Coleman, a keen sailor, was also involved in the local community in his spare time, volunteering for Solent Dolphin, a charity which takes disabled people on trips aboard accessible boat Alison MacGregor.

Frank was born on 21st August 1926 in Scotland, where his father, who was in the Royal Air Force, was stationed at the time.

Frank Coleman lived in Hythe for more than 50 years
Frank Coleman lived in Hythe for more than 50 years

Both his mother and father were from Ringaskiddy in Cork, Ireland, but Frank also spent five years of his childhood in India, due to his father’s posting.

Age 17, Frank joined the Royal Navy and saw active wartime service with the British Pacific Fleet.

His ship was the HMS Indefatigable and he took part in operations with the Americans in the pacific, including his ship coming under attack from Japanese kamikaze pilots in fighter aircraft.

Before he was demobbed in 1947, his ship visited ports in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

In 1948 Frank, who was newly married to wife Jean, joined the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary.

He was based at various stations over the years including Petersfield, Eastleigh where his daughter Ann was born, and Totton, where his son John was born.

He worked in Farnborough and Aldershot, rising to inspector when he moved to Ringwood.

He also worked in the regional crime squad in Southampton and, on reaching chief inspector status, moved to Hythe where he lived for over 50 years.

Frank left the force in July 1974 and became chief security officer for the International Rubber Company in Hythe.

After he retired Frank had more time for his main hobby, sailing, and loved nothing more than going off for a week or more with his friends, sailing along the south coast, around the Isle of Wight or over to France.

He enjoyed caravan holidays with Jean, gardening, and supported Southampton Football Club.

He also played bowls and was a member of the Rotary club.

Frank and Jean were married for 73 years until she passed away earlier this year.

In addition to his children, he is survived by grandchildren Ben, Amber, Joel and Niall, and six great-grandchildren.

His funeral was held last month at Test Valley Crematorium.

Donations in his memory can be made to Solent Dolphin at www.solentdolphin.co.uk

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