Richard Hamer: Decorated soldier and Hunstanton mayor

PUBLISHED: 11:09 10 September 2011

Soldier, teacher and town mayor, Richard Hamer, who has died aged 90, took a leading role in the celebration of Hunstanton’s 150th anniversary as a seaside resort.

In his second term, he was civic leader for the centenary celebrations of Hunstanton’s Town Hall in 1996.

Born in Pinner, Middlesex, John Richard Hamer went to Oundle and then up to Cambridge. At Magdalene College, where he read modern languages, he was also a keen member of the athletics club.

After Sandhurst, he was commissioned into the Royal Corps of Signals. As a captain, he took part in D-Day and landed on the second day on Gold Beach with the 56th Independent Infantry Brigade. After the war, he served in Palestine.

He was posted to the UK embassy in Washington where he introduced the first British military communications satellite. During his 27-year career, he was mentioned in dispatches and retired in 1969 as Lieutenant Colonel. He then embarked on a second career as an administrator at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. He returned to England and moved to Old Hunstanton in 1975. A housemaster, he was head of French at the Glebe School, Hunstanton, where he also taught German.

His wife, Marie, was a noted ceramics artist.

Elected to the town council in the early 1980s, Mr Hamer was town mayor in May 1994. Praised for having carried out his role “with zeal and an open-handed manner,” he was asked to serve for a second one-year term.

He was president of the town’s Royal British Legion branch.

Widower of Marie, father of Alexandra and step-daughter, Penelope, he leaves a grand-daughter Nicola and two great grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at St Mary’s Church, Old Hunstanton, on Monday, September 12, at 2.30pm.

Michael Pollitt

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