A beloved family man who fell in love with Norfolk during his time as an evacuee during the Second World War, has died aged 89.

From scrumping apples to enjoying all that the countryside had to offer, Henry Alfred Deeks thrived on life in the county.

Born in London, the young Harry was evacuated to Norfolk, near Thetford, when he was aged just seven years old.

He remembered arriving at Mundford’s community hall where oil lamps were burning and blankets were being used on the windows as blackouts.

On arrival at Mrs Theobald’s home, she offered him a glass of lemonade that he did not drink because he thought she was trying to poison him.

During his time at Mundford, he would scrump apples, play with his friends, and earned £1 a year pumping the church organ - he also remembered daydreaming before hearing the organist yell at him to ‘pump harder’.

He described his time in the village as "happy days".

On returning home to London, he played for the school football team.

His school and football career was cut short, however, after his father secured him an apprenticeship at a woodturning firm at the age of 14. This became his trade until he retired.

After his time in the Royal Army Service Corps from 1950 to 1952, he returned to London’s East End and started boxing lessons. Afterward, he attended the local dance class where he met Molly Adams.

During their first dance, he told her he would marry her one day - and he did.

The couple were wed in 1953 and had two daughters; Janice and Denise. Denise died aged 46.

Mr Deeks returned to Mundford for a visit in 1995 and was “delighted” to meet Mrs Theobald’s two children again. They shared many happy memories together.

Mr Deeks died on December 28, 2021, with his daughter Janice by his side.

Despite living with cancer, blindness, and COPD for a number of years, she said he “rarely complained”.

She added: “He was a loving husband, father, granddad, and great-granddad and his life was full of kindness, generosity, patience, and humour.

“His family was the most important people in his life, and he had a strong faith in God. Everyone who met Harry left with a smile on their face.

“He is now reunited with his beloved wife Molly and daughter Denise.”

As a sign of his affection for the place where he found sanctuary, Mr Deeks’ ashes are buried at St Leonard's Church in Mundford with the simple inscription 'Henry Alfred Deeks 1932-2021 Evacuee'.