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Former deputy editor dies after suspected heart attack in Turkey

Bev WardA former deputy editor described as the “cornerstone” of the regional daily he served for more than a quarter of a century has died after suffering a suspected heart attack abroad.

Successive editors of The Citizen, Gloucester, have paid tribute to their “loyal lieutenant” Bev Ward, pictured left, who was out shopping with his fiancée Sheila in Turkey when he collapsed.

The 74-year-old’s passing last week comes just two months after his mother Frederica died aged 100.

Before his retirement in 2005, Bev spent 27 years at The Citizen under seven editors – Ken Clapham, Colin Walker, Mike Lowe, Hugh Berlyn, Graham Glen, Spencer Feeney and Ian Mean.

Said Ian: “As an editor, you could not wish for a more loyal lieutenant. He was a traditional newspaper man. The big thing he had, for me, was attention to detail.

“He was brilliant to me – he really loved the job. He was passionate about getting young people involved, and my wife and I are really sorry to hear of his passing. He was a great servant of The Citizen.

Spencer Feeney, who edited The Citizen until 2002, said: “Bev was everything an editor could have needed in a deputy. He was reliable, loyal, and very knowledgeable about the trade and the area, and a man of great integrity.

“I’m not the only editor who will have been grateful for his support and wise counsel.  I’m sure there would have been times when The Citizen might have landed itself in hot water without Bev having had a word in the editor’s ear.”

His sentiments were echoed by Mike Lowe, who added: “I joined The Citizen as a very young editor. He was a brilliant deputy.

“He went out of his way to keep me out of trouble. I’m sure I drove him up the wall at times. He was a genuine bloke, hardworking and honest. I could not have asked for better support than his.”

Bev began his career as a junior reporter with the Mid-Devon Advertiser in 1957 and went on to the Weekly Telegraph, in Essex.

He later returned to the West Country, working on the Western Morning News and the Evening Herald, in Plymouth.

Bev, who had just moved into a new house with Sheila, divided his time between the UK and Turkey after he lost his wife Ann in 2008.

His grandson Patrick Sheehy said: “Grandad was having an exciting retirement and his adventure in Turkey was cut short in the end.

“He was a truly amazing man and gave so much to each of us in the family. He was everyone’s first port of call for advice on important decisions and was a real rock of support in harder times.”

Outside of journalism he was a keen supporter of Arsenal Football Club and Gloucester Rugby Club, and played golf and snooker.

Bev leaves two sons, Michael and Stephen, two step-children, Michael and Susanne, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

His funeral is expected to be held in Weymouth in a few weeks’ time. A full obituary in The Citizen can be read here.


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  • March 25, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Sounds like he was a gem in the days when such people were valued. RIP

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  • March 25, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    So sad to hear of Bev’s passing. I worked with him when I was a Sub-Editor at The Citizen, and he was such a lovely, funny guy to work for, always smiling and laughing and joking. But always a true gentleman, always calm in a crisis, sensible, level headed, and wise beyond his years. He knew the newspaper business inside out. He will be
    greatly missed. R.I.P Bev.

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  • March 25, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Bev was all these good things and more. He was a great guy. He curbed the editors’ worst excesses, Well, most of them (Mike!). I was sorry to hear of his passing.

    Ken Thompson – MD at the Citizen from 1987 to 1994.

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  • March 27, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    He was a diamond, particularly when we relaunched the Pink Un.Kept us all on the straight and narrow as well as encouraging all the way. It was a pleasure to have known him.

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