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Former Special Constabulary stalwart Andrew Veal, from Stanningfield, has died aged 72

A loving husband and father of two who committed his life to helping others has passed away in Bury St. Edmunds at the age of 72, with his family by his side.

Andrew Veal, of Stanningfield, Bury St, Edmunds, died on Sunday 4th June. The memorial service will take place later this month.

Husband of Suzanne Veal for almost 47 years, father of Nicola and Benjamin and grandad to Zen, Elle, Sam and Jonah, Andrew dedicated his life to community work, and is fondly remembered as a “good, kind man” who was an “unsung hero in the local area.”

Born in Sleaford, Lincolnshire and moving to Bury St. Edmunds aged 11, Andrew excelled in his academic studies at the King Edward Grammar School and embarked on his first job at Parkyns Estate Agents - where he would meet his future wife Suzanne - training as a Chartered Surveyor, before moving on to Lacy Scott and Knight Estate Agents.

Andrew Veal has died aged 72
Andrew Veal has died aged 72

He started work at NatWest Bank in Bury St. Edmunds in 1975, working at the bank for over two decades and proudly becoming an assistant manager, spanning both Bury and Haverhill branches. At the turn of the millennium, Andrew joined the Department for Work & Pensions as a Disability Employment and Prisons Adviser In 2000, supporting inmates through the rehabilitation process and helping them to find employment after release.

However, Andrew’s true passion in life was how we spent his spare time: as a Special Constable for Suffolk Constabulary. Joining the voluntary forces in 1978, Andrew served 26 years as a Special, promoted first to Assistant Sector Officer and ultimately to the rank of Special Inspector before stepping down in 2003 following 26 years of distinguished service.

“My dad was incredibly proud to serve the Suffolk community as a Special,” says son Ben. “He dedicated so much time and energy to the Specials for over 25 years. He really believed in the value that Specials brought to the work of the Constabulary and to the wider community, and spent his career organising training days, liaising with local media, and assisting with recruitment and retention to encourage others to join. The police was truly a vocation for him; he was a great ambassador for the Specials.”

Andrew pictured with his wife Suzanne marking his 25 in the Special Constabulary
Andrew pictured with his wife Suzanne marking his 25 in the Special Constabulary

Upon retirement, Andrew revelled in spending time with his four grandchildren, who all loved their Grandad dearly. He moved to Stanningfield with the love of his life, Suzanne in 2016 and delighted in being part of the village fabric: he was a keen gardener, photographer and reader who also enjoyed crafting replica models of boats and creating intricate dioramas.

“The value that defines my dad most is kindness,” reflects son Ben. “He spent his life looking out for others and making sure those around him were happy. He believed in doing good and supporting others in need. My sister and I are deeply proud of the life that our dear Dad led, and his passing leaves behind a big hole in our lives now. Yet he has also shown us the way in life, and we will now continue on his legacy as parents ourselves.”

Andrew’s outlook on life has directly influenced his children’s career paths today. Daughter Nicola is a social worker in Norfolk, while son Ben runs a communications consultancy in Wiltshire which specialises in supporting charities and not-for-profits. Andrew also instilled a love for the coast in his family; he was never happier than when he was on the beach in his beloved Cornwall.

The service to celebrate Andrew’s life will be held in the St Edmunds Chapel at the West Suffolk Crematorium on Monday 26th June at 2pm.