December 5 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Frederick (Dan) Daniel has died aged 90. He was manager of the NatWest Bank in March from 1972 until his retirement in 1983.
Mr Daniel was born in rural North Devon, the second born of identical twins, and grew up on a small farm. He was educated at Shebbear College, from where he left to commence his long banking career, his first branch being in Taunton, Somerset, where he was a replacement for his older brother who had been called up for army service.
In 1942 he was called up and started his training in Trowbridge with the Devonshire’s. He always maintained that he then did something that nobody should do in the army; he volunteered. This resulted in his admission into the Royal Signals where he embarked on a stiff training course to learn the art of intercepting, listening to and recording the Morse code. He was moved to various locations including the Isle of Man where he witnessed detainees being held behind barbed wire. One of the locations he found himself at was at Glemham Hall in East Suffolk. It was here that he met his future wife, Christine, a local farmer’s daughter,
In August 1944, he embarked on boat from Portsmouth to Arromanche in Northern France, as part of the Battle of Normandy. His unit was the last of its kind to be sent over, and he subsequently went through many towns and villages in France, Belgium and eventually arrived in Berlin. He talked about the devastation witnessed in places such as Caen. On one occasion his unit even mistakenly located itself behind enemy lines. In 1945 he had started to learn the Morse code used to intercept Japanese messages, which involved becoming familiar with 72 figures for the Japanese alphabet, but events took place which meant that this training was no longer necessary.
After the war, he spent time in Germany, (and won the 100yd race during a sports day) until his demob in 1946. He returned to work in the bank and married Christine in 1947. Initially, they lived in Minehead, Somerset, but he then moved to East Anglia where he worked in Diss, Ipswich, Woodbridge, Diss and then finally March where he was manger for over 10 years from 1972 until his retirement in1983.
During his time in March, Mr Daniel was also associated with the Middle Level Watermen’s Club, the BRSA club and March Young Farmers. He was very well known in the farming community as many of his customers were local farmers.
For many years he belonged to March Golf Club and on his retirement, become a regular member of the seniors team, competing in foursomes for many seasons. He was captain in 1997.
After his retirement in 1983, the couple stayed in March for 23 years, and finally moved north to Ripon, North Yorkshire, to be nearer their daughter Sandra. Christine passed away in 2010, and Dan’s health suffered as a result of a heart attack in the same year. After a fall in his home recently, when he broke his ankle, he was admitted to hospital. His health deteriorated further, and he passed away peacefully on Friday October 4. He leaves behind a daughter, Sandra and a son John, and also four grandchildren Nicola, Richard, John and Charlotte.