Stalwart of ambulance service dies at age of 84

Ken Hurd with the clock he was presented with upon retirement
Ken Hurd with the clock he was presented with upon retirement

A FORMER station officer at Eastbourne’s ambulance station has died at the age of 84.

Ken Hurd served in the town’s ambulance service for 40 years and when he retired in 1988, he was presented with the station clock as a unique tribute to his working life.

Mr Hurd, who lived at Redford Close, Langney, was born in Wharf Road, Eastbourne in 1926.

He grew up in Old Town, with his younger brother and sister, Douglas and Janet, and went to St Mary’s Boys’ School.

Mr Hurd, who is survived by his sons Colin, Barry and Nicholas, and twin daughters, Penny and Lisa, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, joined the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in 1945 and saw active service in Palestine before joining the ambulance service in 1948. At that time, the town’s first aid and emergency cover was provided by the St John Ambulance Brigade, staffed by a mix of full-time and volunteer crews, from the base near the Whitley Road bridge.

Among the ambulance volunteers was Mr Hurd’s father, Gordon, who became station inspector at Eastbourne railway station.

His mother, Ethel, was also part of the family first aid tradition, being for many years a devoted member of the town’s St John nursing division, alongside her sisters, Mr Hurd’s aunts.

Mr Hurd and his late wife, Chris, lived in Langney for more than 50 years and both were both actively involved with its community centre.

He was also greatly respected among the county’s emergency services and former and current members of the ambulance and fire brigades joined his family and other friends at Eastbourne Crematorium for the funeral service earlier this month.