A RETIRED police officer who served many years in Ludlow after following his father into the county’s constabulary, has died in hospital.

Donald Percival Ewels died in Hereford Hospital on December 22 following a short illness. He was 95 and had lived in a nursing home since last March.

He served as a police officer for 30 years, joining the old Shropshire Constabulary in 1946 and rising to the rank of chief inspector in charge of West Mercia Police’s Ludlow sub division.

He started his career as a rural beat officer at Craven Arms and Middleton before becoming a detective constable in Ludlow and Bridgnorth.

He was promoted to sergeant in 1958, in charge of a new police station at Heathgates, Shrewsbury. Six years later he moved to Oswestry on promotion to inspector in charge of the town’s new police station.

In 1967, he returned to Ludlow – his home town – following promotion to chief inspector, taking charge of the sub division covering south Shropshire until his retirement in 1976.

He went on to work with South Shropshire District Council as planning enforcement officer until 1988.

For more than 40 years, he lived in the old Police House in Bromfield.

He was a keen gardener, winning awards at Bromfield Show with his vegetables and flowers. He had been an active sportsman, playing football and cricket for Shropshire Constabulary, football for Craven Arms and rugby for Ludlow RFC.

“He and mum were part of the Bromfield community for almost half a century and received tremendous friendship and support from local people,” said his eldest son Richard.

“It was largely due to this support and that of other friends and family which enabled him to lead an independent life at Chase View for so long.”

Mr Ewels served with the Royal Naval Patrol Service during the Second World War.

After the war, joining the police became a family tradition as his father Percy was a constable stationed in Ludlow at the time of his birth in 1924. The tradition has continued with one of his grandchildren now a serving officer with West Mercia Police. Mr Ewels is survived by his two sons Richard and Robert and sister Daphne. He also has four grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.

A memorial funeral service will be held at St Mary the Virgin’s Church, Bromfield on Friday, January 17 at 12pm following a private family cremation service in Shrewsbury.