Former postal head dies at 95

TRIBUTES are today being paid to Suffolk's former head postmaster after he died at the age of 95.Albert Ruscoe was honoured with an MBE for his work in introducing a mechanised mail handling system to East Anglia and by the time he retired in 1971 he was the oldest head postmaster in the country.

TRIBUTES are today being paid to Suffolk's former head postmaster after he died at the age of 95.

Albert Ruscoe was honoured with an MBE for his work in introducing a mechanised mail handling system to East Anglia and by the time he retired in 1971 he was the oldest head postmaster in the country.

Born in Shropshire in October 1908, he joined the Post Office as a sorting clerk and telegraphist after leaving Wellington Grammar School.

During the Second World War he was stationed in Cairo where he managed the army's mail services rising from second lieutenant in the Royal Engineers (Postal Section) to major.


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When he was demobbed in 1946 the then 38-year-old received a special commendation from the commander of the Middle East forces.

His only son Peter said: "After the war Albert rose swiftly through the Post Office ranks from assistant postmaster in Barry, Glamorgan, to head postmaster of Pontypool, the youngest to hold such a position. He then went to Chelmsford, where in 1965 he was awarded the MBE. He finally went to Ipswich as head postmaster for Suffolk in 1966. His final role saw the transition of the organisation from a government department to the Post Office Corporation."

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Over the years Mr Ruscoe served on Chelmsford Cathedral Council, was a member of the Rotary Club, a founder member of Ipswich Probus Club and a member of St John's Parochial Church Council. In 1963 he was made president of the Association of Head Postmasters.

In his 80s he attended Suffolk College and completed a certificate for religious studies and received the Suffolk College Foundation Award.

His son said Mr Ruscoe always tried to remain active during his later years.

"Albert was a lifetime gardener and avid stamp collector, until in his 90s, failing eyesight made this impossible. He will be greatly missed by family, friends and the many people whose lives he enriched."

Mr Ruscoe, who lived in north-east Ipswich, was a widower whose wife Bessie died in 1976. Their son Peter was their only child.

Mr Ruscoe's funeral will be held next Friday at St John the Baptist Church, Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich, at 2.30pm. The service will be followed by a cremation.

Family flowers only have been requested, although donations can be made to the Friends of St Raphael Club.

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