Family pays tribute to Norfolk marshman honoured for long service
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A man who was awarded the British Empire Medal by the Queen for services to agriculture had died at the age of 86.
Robert Mace, known as Bob, worked his whole life as a marshman in the Haddiscoe area, continuing until a few days before his death on July 6.
He was born and raised at the Berney Arms before moving to Reedham at the age of 14.
His job was handed down to him by his father and is being carried on today by his son Brian.
Mr Mace worked for three years on a farm before becoming a marshman, and moved to Haddiscoe Island in 1956 with his late wife Violet, who he married aged 19.
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He worked for the Askew Partnership and was responsible for 8,000 acres and up to 1,200 cattle. His duties included herding the cattle, draining dykes, cutting the thistles and clearing the drains.
His son Brian said: 'He loved it because there was no one to bother him or annoy him and he was his own boss. He never wanted to work inside.'
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Mr Mace was presented with a long service award after 53 years in the role by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association in June 2002. It was given to him by Bernard Matthews at the Royal Norfolk Show.
He was also awarded the British Empire Medal in 1976 at the Town Hall in Great Yarmouth by the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk Timothy Colman for work on the prevention of copper deficiency in cattle and his investigation into the problems caused by the 1976 droughts.
Speaking at the time, he said: 'I am extremely honoured and my family is very proud.'
Mr Mace used to enjoy visiting the cattle market in Norwich every Saturday, and previously farmed turkeys to sell at Christmas.
His daughter-in-law June said: 'He was a very happy and cheerful man, he was always up for a joke and laughing with everyone.'
Mr Mace's funeral is at Gorleston Crematorium on August 7 at 1.30pm, with family flowers only. Any donations can be sent through Arthur Jary and Sons in Bradwell for the British Heart Foundation.
Mr Mace leaves behind his son Brian and daughter in law June, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.