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Tributes to a war hero and royal fishmonger

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A war veteran who later worked delivering fish to Buckingham Palace has died aged 88.

Tributes have been paid to Frank Bee, from Fleetwood, who served on the Atlantic convoys in the Second World War .

Mr Bee was well known later in life across the Fylde coast for his mobile fish van and charter boat business, where he would take parties out angling in Morecambe Bay.

His wife Vivien, 74, said: “His life was entwined with the ebb and flow of the tide because the sea has had such a role in his life.”

Mr Bee was born in the port in 1925, the eldest of four brothers, to parents Frank and Elsie.

His father died of tuberculosis after being held as a prisoner of war in Bulgaria during the First World War.

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As a youngster Mr Bee took on the role of family breadwinner as a butcher’s boy and also helped a farmer on Fleetwood Market. He soon found another, better paid job on the docks and worked as a filleter and truck driver.

At the outbreak of the Second World War Mr Bee joined the Home Guard and volunteered for the Royal Navy after turning 17.

He served in the Atlantic convoys, which pitted Allied navies escorting merchant ships across the seas against German U-Boats and the 
Luftwaffe.

Serving aboard HMS Foley initially, and later HMS Birmingham, Mr Bee also spent part of the war in the Mediterranean.

After being demobbed in 1946 he married a woman from London named Pat and settled in the capital.

Working in Billingsgate Market, Mr Bee later became fish buyer for Associated Fisheries, supplying fish to the top hotels and royal kitchens at Buckingham Palace.

He later returned to the Fylde coast where he began his fish round.

Following his wife’s death, Mr Bee’s life took a new direction when he later met and married Vivien, a former 
Gazette reporter.

Tragically, Mr Bee’s three brothers all died through drowning.

Toddler John after falling into Fleetwood Boating Lake; Ken died coming ashore from his boat in the River Wyre and Ben (a former coxswain of Fleetwood Lifeboat) when his fishing boat capsized in Morecambe Bay.

Mr Bee, from Church Street, had been ill for the past two years and died on July 2.

Besides wife Vivien, Mr Bee leaves two stepdaughters, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

His funeral service and cremation were held at Carleton on Wednesda

 

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