A STALWART of the community in Whitton, Edward Windsor also had a fascinating life story, having been actively involved in fighting fascism in the 1930s and fighting at Dunkirk and Normandy.

Eddie Windsor, who died on November 26 aged 92, was latterly involved with a number of local charities, especially Age Concern.

Eddie Windsor was born in 1912 in the East End of London. He was one of five children, having three sisters, Violet, Freda and Kath, and a brother who died in childhood.

Following the end of the First World War, his parents moved across London to Laurel Avenue in Twickenham. Eddie attended Trafalgar School and as a child he was also a member of the choir at Holy Trinity Church, Twickenham Green.

Although Eddie was enjoying school, his parents, perhaps driven by their love of horse racing and possibly also by Eddie's short height, decided to send him to Epsom Stables to train as a jockey. Eddie, however, was deeply unhappy with this turn of events, viewing it as a diversion from his schooling and after a few months he asked to come home.

On Eddie's return to Twickenham, he discovered that his schooling had by now practically finished. In addition, Eddie also found himself barred from rejoining the church choir in Twickenham, as the church elders now associated him with what they perceived to be the somewhat dubious business of horse racing. This caused him great upset, as Eddie had a strong voice and loved to sing.

After leaving school, Eddie was employed as an assistant estate agent in Chiswick. Then, following in his father's footsteps, he started work as a trolley bus driver at Fulwell Bus Garage, driving the number 667 to Hammersmith Broadway.

Eddie was actively involved in the mid 1930s in leading local campaigns against Oswald Mosley's fascist Blackshirts', whose national headquarters were at that time in Hogarth House, Richmond. This would often involve Eddie and others heckling meetings in Twickenham and Richmond: a dangerous occupation, as Mosley's supporters were not known for their restraint.

In keeping with his strong antipathy towards fascism, Eddie joined the Territorial Army in 1937. He went on to serve with the Royal Corps of Signals throughout the Second World War and took part in some of the major events, including the British army's evacuation at Dunkirk in 1940 and later going back to France as part of the Allied D-Day landings at Normandy in June 1944.

Eddie married Rene during the war and was stationed with his wife for three years in Northern Ireland. The couple had first met at Richmond Ice Rink during the late 1930s. As Eddie would recount, he spotted Rene on the ice, skated up to her and asked her if she would skate with him and she said "yes". Over their marriage of nearly 60 years, they had three sons: Roger, Colin and (much later) David. Eddie has also left behind five grandchildren: Amanda, Rachel, Kirsti, Daniel and Jozef and two great-grandchildren, Jessie and Emma who live in France.

After being demobbed from the Army, Eddie rejoined London Transport and shortly after that came into the employ of Hickman and Bishop, an estate agents in Kingston.

In the late 1950s Eddie took over management of an estate agent's office in Whitton under the name of Martin Gale & Wright, paying a franchise fee. In the late sixties, he left Martin Gale & Wright and started a new estate agent's across the road under his own name of Edward Windsor & Sons. In the mid 1970s he sold his business to Mann & Co and retired.

Shortly after his retirement, at the age of 68, Eddie studied for O and A-levels at Richmond Adult College and passed several with A grades. As a result of this, Eddie was awarded a place at Kingston University to study for a BA degree in history, an offer he eventually declined because he felt this would impinge on his time with Rene.

Eddie's sight began to fail in his early seventies and he was registered blind in 1982.

Latterly, Eddie's professional association, the FSVA, merged with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in the 1990s and so, at the age of 85, Eddie became a Chartered Surveyor. Indeed Eddie joked, as was his wont, that if anyone cared to have their house surveyed and valued by a blind man, he was most certainly available at a slightly reduced fee!

Eddie contributed much to the community in Whitton. His charity work included being president and founding member of Whitton Age Concern, formerly known as Whitton Old People's Association.

Eddie was also a founding member of Whitton Community Association, which started out operating from a local church hall before moving to its present site in Percy Road in the 1970s.

Eddie undertook further charitable work after his retirement, as an official prison visitor, visiting patients in Normansfield Hospital in Teddington and at the Royal Star and Garter Home.

In later years, he went regularly to the Age Concern tea room and the Whitton Baptist Dinners on Thursdays.

Latterly, Rene moved into a residential home in Teddington, but Eddie remained devoted and would visit her every day until her death.

Unfortunately, after the death of his wife, his health diminished and he experienced loss of memory and deafness. For the last four years he lived with his son and daughter-in-law in Whitton and became weaker until his death last week.

Sixth months before his death, he travelled to Cornwall to witness the marriage of his youngest son, David.

A tribute from the family said: "Eddie enjoyed life and was full of fun and will no doubt be remembered as a man who was astute and perceptive, having integrity, compassion, concern and kindness to others: an emotional man with a keen wit and sense of humour; a man with character and great style; a man devoted to his family, especially to his wife: and somebody who gave much, over many years, to the local community in Whitton."