War veteran's body found after fire

PUBLISHED: 15:01 07 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:32 25 May 2010

A WORLD War Two veteran was found dead in his home after a house fire in Congresbury.

A WORLD War Two veteran was found dead in his home after a house fire in Congresbury.

The body of Joe Parsons was taken from a bungalow in Bristol Road following the blaze.

A passerby saw smoke coming from his front window and evacuated neighbours before firefighters arrived.

Mr Parsons was known to neighbours as a quiet man who had many fascinating stories and a passion for wildlife.

Neighbour Tony Chappell said Mr Parsons was a quiet but friendly man who would be sadly missed.

Mr Chappell, of Station Road, aged 72, said: "Joe was a lovely man who was well-liked by his neighbours.

"We used to look in on him to make sure he was well and we would have chats about the war because he was full of stories.

"Towards the end of his life he seemed to be getting weaker, but that didn't get him down, even when he was unwell.

"He was always cheerful, a pleasure to visit and a generous man."

Nature was Mr Parsons' main passion and he would be regularly found bird watching around his home or, when he was able, in nearby woodland.

He served in the RAF regiment during World War Two, first in Egypt and then in India.

After the war he returned to a job as a postman in Torquay, before emigrating to New York in the 1950s, where he became an electrician.

But he returned to the UK with his wife and moved to his bungalow in Congresbury in the 1980s.

His wife died in the 1990s and he lived alone until his death. It is thought his remaining relatives live in the USA.

Firefighters from Yatton and Clevedon were called to the building, next to the Yeo Bridge, at about 6.30pm on December 30.

Four of them put out the blaze, which started by accident, but they discovered Mr Parsons' body in the living room.

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