A FAMILY has paid tribute after the death of a Montgomeryshire farmer

Thomas Benjamin Pugh died peacefully on August 30, at the age of 95.

Ben (brother to Tilly Jones of Berriew) was born at Rhiwgoch Farm in 1924 the son of Phillip and Margeret Pugh. The family soon moved to neighbouring Jamesford farm, which was to become the family home.

After attending agricultural college in Aberystwyth in 1943 Ben then joined the RAF to train as a radio operator and air traffic controller.

Ben also excelled at football and was told to consider a career in the sport when the war was over.

He was in London on VE day and recalled enjoying a bottle of Coke at the American Canteen Club in Piccadilly.

After the war he returned to agriculture initially fitting milking parlours around the UK, but later joining the family farm.

It was at a local dance that he met Doris Cooper who was working as a nanny for the Hughes family of Traethlawn Hall Welshpool.

They married in 1949.

Inspired by the RAF, Ben learned to fly in the 1960s after joining the Montgomery flying club run by Claud Millington.

His love of aircraft was matched by his passion for cars resulting in annual trips to the motor show in London and a trip to the Monaco Grand Prix in 1963.

While there, and because he had a moustache, Ben was mistaken for Formula One world champion Graham Hill and approached for autographs.

After Ben and his young family left the farm he eventually moved to Llangollen where he became a well respected member of the community and worked every summer on preparations for the Eisteddfod.

Some years after his divorce, on returning to visit Llangollen after moving to Shrewsbury, he met Andrea Matthews at a local Jazz club.

Then followed 25 years travelling with Andrea visiting Madeira annually plus many places within the UK and Europe.

Paying tribute, Nigel Pugh said: “During his later years Ben enjoyed meeting up with his grandchildren Jelena and Sebastien.

“With his intelligent knowledge on aviation and cars, his humorous anecdotes on farming life and his love of talking with anyone Ben has endeared himself to countless people over the decades.

“We will miss you.

“Much love, Nigel, Karen, Robert, Jelena, Seb and Andrea.”

A donation was made to the RAF Association.