Businessman remembered on Gulf voyage

A SECOND World War sailor turned popular businessman has been honoured by his grandson aboard a Royal Navy ship.

A SECOND World War sailor turned popular businessman has been honoured by his grandson aboard a Royal Navy ship.

Freddie Ames, 83, died last month and while his family attended a funeral service in Suffolk, his grandson Alex Fairfull, threw a rose from HMS Atherstone into the Arabian Gulf.

Mr Fairfull, a photographer with The Evening Star, was unable to attend the service on Thursday because of a work commitment documenting life on the Royal Navy ship.

But the 28-year-old was proud to honour his grandfather's naval heritage in such a fitting way.

Mr Fairfull, of Lapwing Grove, Stowmarket, said: “I felt like I was doing him justice by coming on the ship. When I told him I was going away with the navy, he was over the moon.

“He saw a younger version of him in me. I know he would be proud. I will always remember him being the happiest person I have ever met.”

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More than 100 relatives and friends attended the funeral at the West Suffolk Crematorium in Bury St Edmunds, which was full of clapping and laughing.

His wife, Sheila, of Viking Road, Stowmarket, said: “It summed him up really. He was such a character and is not a man who will be forgotten.”

Send your memories of Freddie to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to

FREDDIE Ames was born in Stowmarket on July 30, 1925, to Frederick and Elizabeth Ames and grew up at his parents' fish and chip shop in Stowupland Street in the town.

Because his older brother, Geoffrey, had joined the navy during the Second World War, Freddie lied about his age so he could sign up at 16 years old.

During service as a signaller aboard HMS Sovereign and HMS Queen Elizabeth, he visited Japan so soon after the Hiroshima atomic bomb that he was able to take a photograph of the mushroom cloud.

After the war, he took over his parents' greengrocer business and married Sheila in 1963 and they brought up five children - Sandra, Julie, Liz, David and Louise.

Freddie bought another greengrocer shop in Wolsey Road, Stowmarket, in 1967, and with the help of Shelia, ran both stores until the one in Stowupland Street was closed in 1972 to make way for a relief road.

In the 1980s, he became manager of the Stowmarket Royal British Legion and in 1986 he moved to a smallholding in Buxhall, where he reared chickens to supply his shop with eggs.

Freddie retired in 1989 and eventually moved to Viking Road, Stowmarket, where he lived for the last eight years.

He is also survived by eight grandchildren - Alex, Joe, Katie, Rachel, James, Lochlan, Hamish and Ross.

YOU can follow the lives of the Suffolk sailors on operations in the Middle East with a series of features starting tomorrow in The Evening Star.

Reporter SIMON TOMLINSON and photographer ALEX FAIRFULL were granted exclusive access to the crew which visited Ipswich last October aboard HMS Quorn shortly before the ship's affiliation with the town.

The company has now transferred to HMS Atherstone, an identical minehunter, for a seven-month tour of the Gulf, where we met up with them during their peace-keeping and seek-and-destroy operations.

The result is a fascinating insight into life in the Royal Navy and the personalities helping to bring stability to the region.

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