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Former reporter turned newspaper manager dies at 89

A former regional daily journalist turned manager who was a Spitfire pilot in the Second World War has died at the age of 89.

Roy Scott, left, joined Portsmouth’s The News as a junior reporter in 1940 and remained there for the rest of his career apart from time serving in the war.

He rose through the ranks to become a manager at the title, where he oversaw the paper’s move to its current base in Hilsea in Portsmouth in 1969.

Roy died peacefully at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth last month.

After joining The News in 1940, he volunteered for the Royal Air Force as soon as he was old enough to enlist and was accepted as a pilot.

Roy received flight training in Derby then in Rhodesia before seeing active service as a Flight Sergeant in Egypt, including the defence of the Suez Canal, flying De Havilland Moth biplanes and Harvard aeroplanes before joining a Spitfire squadron.

Following his service in North Africa, he was transferred with his squadron to Burma in support of the Allied advance.

After serving in the war, he returned to his previous job as a reporter for The News and was later promoted to management.

As the divisional services manager, Roy played a crucial role in the paper’s move in 1969 from Stanhope Road near Portsmouth Guildhall to its current base in Hilsea, which housed an offset printing press, making the paper one of the first in the country to adopt the technology.

He helped ensure the paper continued to be printed when industrial action threatened to halt production, by working long hours and bringing in changes to minimise the disruption.

During his time at the paper, Roy suffered a heart attack but managed to drive himself to Queen Alexandra Hospital where staff could stabilise his condition.

He took early retirement due to concerns over his health but then began to travel extensively, starting with a trip around the entire coast of Australia with relatives who had emigrated there.

Roy’s health recovered and for many years he was a member of St Simon’s Church Choir and Milton Park Bowling Club, while also supporting Portsmouth Football Club.

He leaves two sisters and their families, one in Australia and another in the Portsmouth area.

Roy’s funeral will take place at St James Church, Milton on 30 November at 2pm.