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Death of "Gentleman" Fred

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Fred Tuck was held at Hethersett Methodist Church. 

Fred, who was an active Methodist and keen supporter of TOC H, died on April 7th at the age of 96 after what was described as a "life of service."

The service was led by Hethersett Methodist Minister the Rev Derek Grimshaw. 

Fred was born in September 1910 and  came to Norfolk with his family at the age of two, firstly to North Elmham and subsequently to Dereham. After leaving school he was employed in the accounts department of Hobbies and continued to live in Dereham when his parents moved to Wymondham. 

It was at Dereham that Fred became interested in the work of the local branch of TOC H – an organisation founded to provide respite care for servicemen during the First World War. 

“Fred always engendered the aims of TOCH which were fellowship, service, fair mindedness and a celebration of the kingdom of God. I have heard some lovely things said about a wonderful man. Fred was a man who loved and was loved dearly,” Rev Grimshaw said. 

Fred became secretary of the local branch of TOC H and in 1936 travelled to Great Yarmouth to hear the Rev Tubby Clayton speak about leper colonies in Nigeria. 

Fred’s nephew Richard Flower spoke of this meeting being a “defining moment in Fred’s life.” 

“Three weeks later he decided to work amongst the lepers and sailed from Liverpool to West Africa. He later said that going to Nigeria was the best thing he ever did,” Mr Flower said. 

Whilst in Nigeria Fred met and married his wife Edna and they were married for 54 years before Edna’s death in 1995. 

Fred and Edna returned to the United Kingdom in 1958 and Fred worked for eight years  for the Methodist Church in London and then for seven years at the Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest. He later worked for the justice department on the Isle of Wight before moving back to Norfolk to live in Hethersett in 1975. 

He became closely involved with the village Methodist Church and was also a founder member of Wymondham Probus Club. Fred was also a keen supporter of Norwich City Football Club and loved music, poetry and literature. 

“He had a mischevious sense of humour, but was a true gentleman,” Mr Flower added. The memorial service was preceded by cremation at St Faiths. The readings and hymns featured at both the crematorium and Hethersett were chosen by Fred himself.