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Sir Colin Turner: Inspirational figure in business, Conservative party and RAFA

PUBLISHED: 06:30 26 March 2014

Sir Colin Turner

Sir Colin Turner

Archant

Businessman, politician, and charity stalwart Sir Colin Turner has died aged 92.

After running the family’s international media company and serving as Conservative MP for Woolwich West, Sir Colin enjoyed a busy retirement in north Norfolk - where his skills and drive were a major asset to the local party and his other passion, the Royal Air Forces Association.

The former wartime bomber navigator was a RAFA member from 1947, and joined the Sheringham branch when the family moved to West Runton.

He was branch chairman from 1994-99, president from 2000-09 and a driving force behind its fundraising and membership efforts, which saw it raise more than £10,000 in Wings Week and numbers soar 10-fold to 240 resulting in it being named the best branch in Britain.

In 1985 he was made an MBE for services to the organisation and knighted in 1993 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his political and public services.

Sir Colin William Carstairs Turner was born on January 4 1922. He took over the Colin Turner Group of international media representatives, founded by his namesake father in 1927, which co-ordinated the global newspaper advertising of British companies.

His wartime RAF service saw him complete 83 wartime operations earning him the Distinguished Flying Cross. In 1944 he suffered near fatal injuries, including a broken spine, in a crash over Durham while escorting a group of dignitaries.

Defying doctors’ expectations he recovered, being invalided out of the RAF in 1946 - but becoming a firm supporter of the RAFA’s welfare work.

He was a member of the Young Conservatives where he met his wife to be Evelyn, and served on Enfield Borough Council from 1956 to 1958, where he was also chairman of the local party from 1979-84 and president from 1984-93.

Sir Colin was elected as MP for Woolwich West from 1959 until 1964. He served as a member of the party’s national executive from 1946-53, 1968-73, and 1976-82 as well playing leading roles in various party overseas councils - before becoming president of the North Norfolk Conservative Association from 1996-99.

Other roles included being chairman and vice-president of the Conservative Commonwealth Council, founder and president of the Overseas Press and Media Association, and editor of the Overseas Media Guide from 1968-74.

Sir Colin died peacefully at home on March 21. He leaves his widow Evelyn (Lady Turner), daughter Susan, sons Anthony, Nigel, Christopher, 14 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Nigel Turner said his father had a great ability to inspire and galvanise people into action along with generosity of spirit which saw the best in everyone.

A funeral will be held on Monday March 31 at West Runton church at 11am. Donations to the RAFA Wings Appeal.

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