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Tributes honour former volunteer police office and Sudbury community stalwart Arthur Gill following death at age of 87

A former voluntary police officer, who served in the role for more than two decades, while remaining a proactive community stalwart, has died at the age of 87.

Arthur Gill moved to Sudbury with his wife, Margaret, in 1958, having secured a managerial position at the Gas Service store on Market Hill.

While working at the business, which sold a range of cookers, gas fires and equipment, Mr Gill and his wife lived in the flat above the premises with their son, Malcolm, and daughter, Michelle, before moving to North Street when the company relocated.

Arthur Gill.Pic - Richard Marsham. (40764459)
Arthur Gill.Pic - Richard Marsham. (40764459)

During his role, Mr Gill formed close-ties with the community.

“He was well-known in the town because, back in the day, before the internet, everyone had to go into the store to pay their gas bills,” said Mr Gill’s eldest son, Malcolm.

“He was very good at sales,” said the 61-year-old. “People often remarked that they were scared to pay for their gas bills in case they were talked into buying a new appliance.”

Arthur Gill.Pic - Richard Marsham. (40764453)
Arthur Gill.Pic - Richard Marsham. (40764453)

In 1968, when Mr Gill’s third child, Alistair, was born, the family moved to a house in Tudor Road.

“It was a new development and it was our first family home,” said Malcolm.

Alongside his full-time job, Mr Gill volunteered as a special constable at Suffolk Constabulary, covering the Sudbury area for more than two decades.

Arthur Gill.Pic - Richard Marsham. (40764306)
Arthur Gill.Pic - Richard Marsham. (40764306)

In 1977, Mr Gill was awarded a commemorative silver jubilee medal from the Queen in recognition of his services to the police force.

“He was extremely proud to receive the medal,” said Malcolm, who added that his father’s decision to join the police force had been inspired by his time in the Army during the Second World War.

“He did national service for two years and he was proud of the fact that he was a sergeant,” added Malcolm.

Arthur Gill.Pic - Richard Marsham. (40764454)
Arthur Gill.Pic - Richard Marsham. (40764454)

Mr Gill formed lasting friendships with his fellow comrades, who sent him annual Christmas cards long after the conflict.

“He said friends that you met in the Army were friends for life,” said his son.

In 1977, Mr Gill and his wife, Margaret, divorced following 20 years of marriage.

Arthur Gill.Pic - Richard Marsham. (40764307)
Arthur Gill.Pic - Richard Marsham. (40764307)

Later on, he met Margaret Waldron, from Sudbury, who he would spend 35 years with before her death in 2012.

The pair enjoyed attending sequence dancing events in the town and won many trophies after triumphing at dancing competitions across the UK.

After working as a store manager with the same gas company for 38 years, Mr Gill was made redundant in 1992.

Arthur Gill.Pic - Richard Marsham. (40764457)
Arthur Gill.Pic - Richard Marsham. (40764457)

He decided to take early retirement but remained proactive in the community as a member of several local organisations and groups.

Mr Gill was president of Sudbury Probus Club, a group for retired professionals and business people.

An avid gardener, he served as show secretary for Sudbury District Horticultural Society.

He was a committee member for Sudbury and District Chamber of Commerce and was a long-time member of the Sudbury branch of the Royal British Legion.

Mr Gill is survived by his three children, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

His funeral will take place in St Gregory’s Church in Sudbury on Friday, September 4, at 9.45am.

Friends of Mr Gill are welcome to pay their respects outside the church.