Tributes paid to Clitheroe war hero

Roy Honeywell
Roy Honeywell

Well-respected father-of-four Roy Honeywell, who made his home in Clitheroe over 70 years ago, has died after a long illness at the age of 94.

Born in Buckfastleigh, South Devon, in 1923, Roy joined the Royal Engineers in 1942 and trained at Low Moor Mill, Clitheroe.

It was here that he met Elsie Broom before joining the Indian Army, where he experienced a very different life, mainly with his Sikh platoon. He saw service in Burma and had a great respect for his fellow officers and troops.

At the end of the war in the Far East, Roy was posted to Sumatra, where he was involved in the release of POWs held by the Japanese, and was wounded by a hand grenade spending some time in hospital in Medan.

In 1946 he returned to Clitheroe and married Elsie that November.

He started work as a process worker at ICI (now Johnson Matthey) and Roy and Elsie lived in Clitheroe ever since, except for a brief spell in Stockton-on-Tees in the late 1950s when Roy bought his first car – a Riley 1.5, his pride and joy. Various promotions eventually took Roy to the post of North Site Plant Manager at ICI Clitheroe.

In 1962 Roy and a few friends with a similar interest in cars got together and Clitheroe and District Motor Club was formed. From a small group of enthusiasts he and Elsie made many good friends and spent many nights involved in rallies.

After retiring in 1980, Roy became the RAC’s Liaison Officer for Lancashire, and later a valued member of the RAC Motor Sports Association Rallies Committee.

For many years Roy was one of only two competitors to have competed on every Mull Rally, and he was also president of the CDMC for many years.

His health began to fail just over two years ago, but with his trademark determination he soldiered on, celebrating an amazing 70 years of married life with Elsie last November.

Roy will be missed by many, including his four children – John, Patricia, Bill and Richard, as well as seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at St Mary’s Parish Church, Clitheroe, at 1pm on Friday (July 7th), followed by a woodland interment at Clitheroe Cemetery (Waddington Road) and a reception at a venue to be announced.

No flowers please; donations in Roy’s memory will be welcomed, to either the RNLI or Blind Veterans UK.