Roger Perry: Top Norfolk rare breed sheep breeder’s national success

Champion pedigree rare breed sheep breeder, Roger Perry, who has died aged 86 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, took top honours at the Royal Norfolk Show just two years ago.

He founded the flock of Soay sheep in 1977 which won the breed title at the Rare Breeds Survival Trust's show and sale at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, for four years on the trot in the 1980s.

After farming in Leicestershire and breeding horses, they moved the nucleus of their flock, a ram and a handful of ewes, to Burnham Market in 1986. Descended from a population of about 1,500 animals in the Outer Hebrides, which had survived annual shooting expeditions in the 1930s, the flock enjoyed success at regional shows including the Aylsham Show. One of the flock, which was shown by another breeder, won the primitive championship at the Norfolk showground in 2010.

Born and bred in Leicester, Roger John Perry joined the Royal Navy before his 17th birthday, where he later saw service with Combined Operations and landed in occupied France on D Day+6. When the LST (Landing Ship Tank) and Landing Craft Association was formed in 1988, he became a keen member.

After serving for the duration, he rejoined the family's Leicester engineering firm but was determined to go farming instead.

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He would have been married for 65 years in September and they were thrilled to receive an official greeting from the Queen on their diamond jubilee.

He leaves a widow, Anne, and is survived by a son and three grandsons.

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A funeral service will be held at St Margaret's Church, Burnham Norton, today at 2pm – the day before what would have been his 87th birthday.

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