Roy Adam MBE Dies Aged 91
12:31pm 6th January 2015
Roy Adam MBE, who was Chairman of The Society of Dorset Men for 21 years, passed away at his son’s home near Taunton on New Years Eve. Born at Pimperne near Blandford, Roy spent all his 91 years living in the village, apart from distinguished service as a commando during World War II.
Just before he became 18, Roy Adam joined the Royal Navy and volunteered for Combined Operations, promptly dispatched to the harsh commando training centre at Inveraray and Dorlin Castle- "lots of running through assault courses under fire, learning survival techniques and handling explosives. "Dangerous, but very exciting," he later recalled.
At a crucial stage of the war, he served in Egypt, Malta and invaded Italy at Taranto. Then he found himself off Gurnard Point on the Isle of Wight as part of D-Day Force J, landing at Arromanches on the morning of 6 June 1944. "I sought adventure, but ended-up with a lot more than I bargained for," he used to say.
Sometime naval commando, pigfarmer, shadow pub landlord and local government officer, Roy’s rich Dorset dialect was his trademark, as was his infectious chuckle- breaking into peals of laughter at a moment’s notice- displaying sparkling wit and a great sense of humour.
"Roy Adam was the very personification of the Dorset countryman," remembers Michel Hooper-Immins, spokesman for The Society of Dorset Men. "He has been a member for over 40 years and taking over as Chairman in 1988, saw the society through some difficult years when it was nothing like the successful organisation it is today."
He was the popular Master of Ceremonies at the annual County Dinner, leading the traditional ceremony of welcoming the Dorset Blue Vinny cheese- always finding the right words for any occasion with his strong Dorset voice. "Roy Adam led us for over two decades and brought the society, founded in 1904, into the modern world," continues Mr. Hooper-Immins. "Roy had an overwhelming passion and love for his beloved home county of Dorset that shone through every day of his life."
Awarded the MBE for services to the community in 2000, The Queen commented: "You come from beautiful Dorset," as she pinned the medal on his lapel. "I am ever very proud to be a Dorset man, Your Majesty," Roy responded.
Although best known for his devotion to The Society of Dorset Men, Roy Adam was active in many other community activities. He helped start the Blandford Royal Naval Association 60 years ago. He also founded the Blandford RNLI branch 46 years ago, today its President. Either a member or the Clerk of Pimperne Parish Council for 38 years, Roy was a Special Constable for 17 years. Founder and life member of the Friends of the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Roy started Pimperne cricket team after returning from the war.
For an incredible 58 summers, Roy organised the annual Act of Remembrance for the Collingwood battalion of the Royal Naval Division at the dignified polished marble memorial just north of Pimperne, dedicated in 1919.
"A stroke in January 2009 robbed Roy of his speech, a cruel fate for one who so much enjoyed talking to his many friends wherever he went," says Michel Hooper-Immins. "He and Hazel continued to attend Society events, where a queue would immediately form to shake his hand and enquire after his health. We will all miss his calm influence and immense kindness, a true friend to all who had the great pleasure of knowing him."
Roy Adam leaves his widow Hazel, son Stuart- who followed him as Chairman of The Society of Dorset Men- daughter Suzanna and grandchildren Adam & Sam. There will be a private family funeral, with a memorial service at a date to be announced.
Roy’s friend Gordon Hine, Secretary of The Society of Dorset Men for 25 years, passed away just 16 days before him, leaving the 110 year old society to mourn the tragic loss of two of its greatest stalwarts in one month.
The Society of Dorset Men was founded 110 years ago on 7 July 1904. The Society has a long and rich history, beginning as The Society of Dorset Men in London and aiming to bring together fellow Dorsets in the capital city. However, since the 1970s, the main activities of the organisation have been centred on Dorset. Today, there are around 1,200 members throughout the UK and all over the world. The President is Oscar winner and ITV Downton Abbey playwright Lord Fellowes of West Stafford DL. He succeeded Sir Anthony Jolliffe GBE DL DSc DMus in 2011, the only Lord Mayor of London to be born in Weymouth and who still lives in Wyke Regis.
The four objects of The Society of Dorset Men are: "to make and to renew personal friendships and associations, to promote good fellowship among Dorset men wherever they may reside, to foster love of the county and pride in its history and traditions and to assist, by every means in its power, natives of Dorset who may stand in need of the influence and help of the Society."