AddThis SmartLayers

Former editor and Territorial Army major dies aged 82


A former regional daily and weekly editor who combined his journalism work with serving as a major in the Territorial Army has died aged 82.

Richard Shields, pictured, was editor of the Hereford Times for 18 years and also spent three years as editor of the Worcester Evening News.

He also edited the Abergavenny Chronicle and was involved in the launch of the now-defunct Hereford Evening News as a standalone daily title.

Alongside his journalistic roles, he took part in TA missions to Germany, Belgium, Gibraltar and the USA and was also a rifles’ training instructor.

Richard was remembered with affection by former colleagues who described him as a “journalist’s journalist” and “one of the best.”

Liz Griffin, another former Hereford Times editor, said: “He was a reassuring counsel to many rookie editors – myself included – passing on his wisdom and knowledge with a typically generous spirit.”

Reporter and sub-editor Tony Boyce, who also had dealings with Richard on behalf of the National Union of Journalists, said: “He was one of the best.

After leaving journalism he became a key member of the TA’s PR unit, and was press controller during the 50th anniversary commemorations of the D-Day landings in 1994.

Richard first became editor of the Times in 1972 and stayed for nine years before leaving for the editorship of the Evening News.

But after three years in Worcester he returned for another nine-year stint in Hereford before eventually standing down in 1993.

During his second spell in the Hereford Times editor’s chair, the circulation topped a record 40,000 a week.

“I had a good team of people,” he humbly said of the achievement.

Richard, who leaves a wife, daughter and grandaughter, later went on to become an editorial consultant with Thomson Regional Newspapers, now part of Trinity Mirror.

His funeral will be held today at 2.15pm at Hereford Crematorium.