A RETIRED Monmouthshire Fire chief and former Desert Rat has died aged 92 following a long illness.

Royston Douglas Orringe MBE, fondly known as Roy, died peacefully on January 21.

Born on August 16 1922, Mr Orringe was known as the “leading light” on many committees following his retirement from the fire service in 1981.

He was involved in the Cwmbran Over 50s Forum; he was the vice-chairman of the National Pensioners Convention for Wales and involved with the twinning of Cwmbran and Bruchsal in Germany. To date he was the longest serving president of the National Association of Retired Firefighters, for which he was awarded the MBE in 1999 for services to the association.

The second eldest of four children to parents Gwen and Ernie, Mr Orringe attended Beadwell School in Ashford Road, Eastbourne, leaving at the age of 14 to work as an accountants’ clerk, until conscripted into the Army at the age of 19.

During his time with the 8th Army, in the Second World War, he served in the north African and Italian campaigns. He was awarded the Africa Star medal for service on the Libyan/Egyptian border, the Italy Star Medal and the Defence Medal awarded for service with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He was a Sergeant in the battle of El Alamein.

He remained in the Army for several years after the war and was offered a commission, which he turned down, as he had decided to marry Joan Maud Owen on March 3, 1947, his wife for over 50 years, until she died following illness.

He joined the City of Manchester Fire Brigade in 1951 and enjoyed fire service life.

He quickly realised that progression through the ranks meant many moves and plenty of hard work studying.

He was commandant of the training school in Lancashire County Fire Brigade.

In the early 1960s he moved back to work in the Greater Manchester area, then later relocated to Dorset.

In 1969, he settled in Cwmbran as the deputy chief fire officer for Monmouthshire Fire Brigade, responsible for the updating and modernisation of the fleet of fire appliances and fire stations. Mr Orringe was a regular member of Fairhill Methodist Church until his health prevented him from attending.

On September 24, 2005, Mr Orringe married Lilian who remained his companion for the last few years of his life.

He leaves three children – Heather, Adrian and Hazel – six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

He also leaves three step children, five step grandchildren and five step great-grandchildren.

A service was held on February 6 at Fairhill Methodist Church followed by a trooping of colours at Cwmbran fire station and then onto the Gwent crematorium. Friends attended Greenmeadow golf club to swap memories of him.