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FALMOUTH PACKET - 19th January 2017

Former Porthleven policeman Norman Pawley dies aged 94

Norman Pawley pictured in the Helston Packet in 1971, putting up the sign to the house he built in Porthleven

He walked the beat in Porthleven for more than quarter of a century but now a former policeman for the port has taken his final steps.

Retired constable Norman Pawley died last Wednesday aged 94, but is still remembered fondly in the area after overseeing its law and order between 1947 and 1973.

In that time he developed a reputation for being “firm but fair” – and as a member of the Cornwall County Police Boxing Championship team the community knew not to cross him.

To the children of Porthleven he was just as likely to offer a sweet from the bag he kept in his car, or a clip round the ear, depending on their behaviour.

Off duty he could often be found enjoying a pint at one of Porthleven’s pubs and smoking his pipe.

In his latter years of the police force, Norman took up coaching the juniors and minis teams at Helston Rugby Club, following a successful playing career there.

He also enjoyed canal boat holidays with fellow Helston policeman John Wherry and their wives.

In 1971 Norman hit the headlines in the Helston Packet, for building his own house in Balfield Road, Porthleven with his four sons, naming it Dilkhusha – Indian for “heart’s desire.”

He lived here with his late wife Daphne, who he was married to for 65 years before her death in 2010.

A London boy originally, Norman met his wife-to-be in Fowey and they married in 1945, before moving to Porthleven.

What is perhaps less known locally is his colourful career in the RAF, during the Second World War, which saw him captured three times by the Nazis and escape on each occasion.

One story that has gone down in family legend is the time he was forced to evacuate the bomber he was flying on as radio operator. Lining up to jump, he suddenly remembered the bar of chocolate and an orange he had left behind in the cockpit. After weighing up his options, Norman decided to return for them, but ended up catching the rip cord of his parachute on the door, causing it to fall out onto the floor. After retrieving his goodies, Norman proceeded to jump out the plane – hoping that his parachute would still work effectively.

He lived to tell the tale and Norman went on to have five sons with Daphne (the eldest, John, sadly died in his twenties), 12 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. Last September he was proud to become a great-great-grandfather to baby Avaya.

In the last ten years Norman discovered a love of making sausage rolls, despite failing eyesight, and enjoyed passing on his skills to his children and grandchildren.

Ill health subsequently saw him move to live with one of his sons in Plymouth.

His funeral next Tuesday will take place in Plymouth, although his family is planning to also hold an event in Truro at a later date. Details can be got from his son Russell Pawley, who stills lives in Porthleven, or any other family member.

Linked toNorman J PAWLEY

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