Roy Absalom was born in Abercarn. Very shortly after, the family moved a couple of miles down the road to the mining village of Cwmcarn, in what was Monmouthshire. His parents did not want him to become a miner like his father, so urged him to get a good education. His father died at the age of 53 when Roy was 16. A year later his mother encouraged him to go to work in London with a scheme run by the government where his board and lodging were provided plus 5s a week. As soon as he was earning, he started sending money back to his mother in South Wales.
Roy started work before the war at Mosers in London, which became Nettlefolds & Mosers and later still became GKN. He returned to the company after the war, and worked there until taking early retirement at 55, when the company moved to Bootle. He studied to become a Chartered Secretary and by the time he retired he was the Company Secretary and a Director.
During the war he travelled out to Palestine on a troop ship via South Africa and because he had to have an operation on his knee he was not sent into action in Italy. He ended the war having spent four years in Palestine and without hearing a shot fired!
While he was in Palestine he learnt to play bridge, which was a game he loved for the rest of his life. He was a former Chairman of the British Bridge League and Vice-President of the EBU. He went to Israel with young international players and took part in several exchanges between Croydon and Arnhem. He was the Chairman of the Croydon Bridge Congress for several years.
Roy was a very keen sportsman, enjoying running, hockey and tennis in his younger years and then moving on to golf. His love of rugby was well known in the family and he would always support Wales when they were playing. Tennis was very important, as he met his wife, Beryl, at a whist match run by the tennis club to which they both belonged. They married on 1st October 1949, and had two daughters and three sons. Roy was devoted to his family and up until the time he died Beryl used to test him to make sure he could remember the names of all his grandchildren – ten of them. He had four great grandchildren, and knew that a fifth one was on the way.
Roy suffered from Parkinson's Disease for almost thirty years but in all this time he was never heard to complain about it. He was always cheerful, he kept his interest in the activities of others and his sense of humour never left him. A few months ago he gently joked that he was ‘a fine figure of a man’. Maybe more than he knew, he really was. He will be greatly missed.
The funeral will take place on Monday 14th September, 11.30am at Croydon Crematorium, Thornton Road (A23).