Tributes to war veteran Colin Lockwood who was also known as ‘Mr Paxton’

Colin Lockwood, a long serving member of Wakefield Paxton Society
Colin Lockwood, a long serving member of Wakefield Paxton Society

A World War Two veteran and a stalwart of city gardening clubs has died aged 92.

Colin Lockwood applied for a top bravery award from the French Government recently but died before it could be awarded.

Colin Lockwood in his army days

Colin Lockwood in his army days

He died peacefully in his sleep in Pinderfields Hospital on June 23 following a short illness.

Mr Lockwood was born in 1922 and was brought up in Ossett with his two brothers and his sister. He later became a member of Holy Trinity Parish Church. He was a chorister and met his future wife Bessie there.

After leaving school he worked for British Jeffrey Diamond (BJD) before being called up into the Army. He served with the Royal Corps of Signals for five years in England, Europe and in Egypt.

His son-in-law Capt Dennis Robinson said: “Colin rarely spoke of his time in the Army, but we have found some of his old photographs of him and his comrades in arms, and he was proud of his medals. Recently it was announced that he would be eligible for the French Legion d’Honneur and Colin had applied for it, but sadly it did not arrive in time for him to see or wear the medal.”

After the war he went back to work at BJD. In 1947 he married Bessie and they set up home in Wakefield. The couple, who were married for 68 years, had two children, Elizabeth and Barbara. Mr Lockwood working life also included stints at the Yorkshire Electricity Board and West Yorkshire Police in a civilian capacity.

Mr Lockwood’s life-long hobby was gardening. He was site secretary of St John’s Allotments for 50 years. He also had a long associations Wakefield Paxton Society and the Horbury Allotments and Gardens Association.

His funeral took place last Thursday at St John’s Church, which he was a big supporter of. The service was conducted by Rev Stephanie Buchanan. She said: “Colin’s involvement at St John’s goes back a long way. He and Bessie have contributed to the life of the church in many different ways over the years.”

Mr Lockwood is survived by his wife and his two daughters. Donations can still be made to The Yorkshire Air Ambulance via Harpin’s funeral directors on 01924 371091.

Colin Lockwood was a long-standing member of Wakefield Paxton Society and of allotment groups in St John’s and Horbury.

He joined Paxton in 1954 and held a variety of posts at the horticultural group, including auditor and treasurer.

Current club treasurer Alan Warwick said: “He was the society’s oldest member. He was also known as Mr Paxton. He organised everything.”

Sam Megaw, of St John’s Allotments, which Mr Lockwood joined in the 1950s, said: Colin’s main interest away from his home was gardening. He was an ardent showman, he won many prizes at shows around the area. When Colin rolled up to display his flowers and vegetables other competitors took notice.”