A man who grew up in Trowbridge has died in a Brixham Nursing Home close to his home in Torquay.

David Rose, 84, was born and raised in Broad Street, Trowbridge. The family home adjoined his father’s bakery business. He was the youngest of three boys, Tony and Fred were more than ten years older.

David said he had a care-free childhood. He enjoyed playing outside with his friends. He recently recalled happy times messing around on a large wood pile behind the bakehouse.

David went to Nelson Haden secondary school for boys and left a month before his 15th birthday to work for Cousins and Wright’s in Trowbridge, repairers of photographic equipment. He repaired every type of cameras from Box and Bellow cameras to mahogany plate cameras, RAF reconnaissance cameras, and state-of-the-art cameras of that time.

It was here he learned his trade. His methodical way of working, together with patience and skill, was the start of him becoming an expert in this field of work and where his passion for photography grew.

He worked there for four and half years until, aged 19, when he was called up for National Service and chose to join the RAF. David was based at RAF North Weald in Essex. He enjoyed his time there working as a cook.

In 1957 having completed his two years’ service, David returned to Trowbridge. The following year he married Jill and had a daughter and a son.

Several years later David remarried and moved to Torquay with Ann and her three children.

David visited Somerset regularly to enjoy time with his four grandchildren, as well as the grandchildren he shared with Ann. He enjoyed reminiscing and often sent stories to the Wiltshire Times for the ‘Then and Now’ page.

David found his perfect job when he began to work for Sea and Sea in Paignton. They are specialists in supplying underwater photography equipment including cameras. Not only did David repair cameras, but he was also capable of converting old-style cameras into ones that could be used underwater.

He worked for Sea and Sea for nearly 30 years and became one of the most experienced technicians of underwater cameras in the world. It was there he became friends with one of the directors, who happened to own a two-seater light aircraft.

David spent many a weekend at Dunkeswell Airfield, generally helping out while watching planes. Sometimes he would fly in his friend’s plane, often taking over the controls. He also flew in gliders, and once, was taken up in an aircraft specifically to do aerobatics.

Most recently, he missed his wife Ann of 50 years when she died last year, and since then he became more frail. His daughter said: “His mind was in good shape right to the end and our family were lucky enough to spend time with him in his final days.”

Mr Rose died on February 26. His funeral service was held at Torquay Crematorium on March 10. Donations went to the Blue Cross charity for animals.