Former Eastbourne and Hailsham officer passes away


Tributes have been paid to a former rural police officer and coroner’s officer who passed away earlier this month.

Eric Miller had been unwell for some time.

He was 85 and leaves behind his wife Joan, two sons Paul and Ian, two grandchildren and his brother Bill.

Mr Miller was also a long established and well respected bee keeper.

Ian said his father was working as a policeman when he met Joan, a nurse, in Brighton.

The couple married in 1961 and moved to Westham.

As a rural police officer, Eric would cycle around his patch and also took up bee keeping at that time.

The couple had their sons and then moved to Hailsham in 1966 moving in and around the town a further three times.

Ian said, “Dad loved his cats and gardening but the bees were his big passion.”

Kevin Moore, the secretary of Eastbourne & District branch of the National Association of Retired Police Officers, said, “Eric Miller passed away on Thursday August 8 having been in hospital/care home for many months.

“Eric joined the East Sussex Constabulary in 1954 serving at Hove until 1960 and then a very short time at Camber before taking up the rural officer role at Westham from 1960 to 1966.

“He was posted to Hailsham town in 1966 and from 1980 to 1986 was the coroner’s officer there.

“He retired from the regular force in 1986 but continued as coroner’s officer as a member of the support staff before finally retiring in 1998.”

Eric was a prominent and longtime member of the Eastbourne Bee Keeping Association.

The branch’s Jean Piper said, “Eric was a generous mentor and fount of knowledge to many of us starting out with bee keeping.”

Mr Miller’s funeral will be held on Thursday August 29 at 11am at the new Wealden Crematorium in Horam Road, Horam.

His family has asked for family flowers only but donations can be made in his memory to St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Eastbourne.

The address is 1 Broadwater Way, Eastbourne BN22 9PZ.

There is no dress code for the funeral.