Tributes paid to Royal British Legion stalwart locally and nationally, Birstall-born Mr Robert Scaife, CBE, JP, of Liversedge,

Robert Scaife, who has died at 82
Robert Scaife, who has died at 82

Tributes have been paid to a Royal British Legion stalwart who served his community - and country - in so many different ways.

Birstall-born Charles Robert Scaife - known as Robert - of Liversedge, who has died aged 82, was the first National Serviceman to take up the post of national chairman of the Royal British Legion, which he held from 1985-1989.

A Healey School pupil, he trained as a joiner and cabinet maker, in later years working for Batley and Spen Council, moving into office work as work study manager for Spen Council and later Kirklees Council, from where he retired.

Having undertaken his National Service in the Royal Air Force, after he was demobbed on the Wednesday he became a branch member of the Birstall branch of the RBL on the Friday, in 1958.

He went on to serve as membership scretary, standard bearer, treasurer, chairman and president of the branch.

Mr Scaife was also South and West Yorkshire RBL county chairman and then president before taking up his national role, work for which he received the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) award in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 1988.

A RBL citation said his contribution to improving the lives of many ex-service personnel and their families had been “inspirational”.

Accompanied by his wife Margaret, duties took him all over the world and he was, for example, made a member of Australia’s Returned and Services League (RSL).

A Queen’s Scout in his younger days, he was involved in a number of charities and Mr and Mrs Scaife both did important work for the War Widows Association, escorting women to see their loved one’s graves for the first time.

Mr Scaife was awarded the Medal of the Order of the League of Mercy for his charity work in 2011.

He was a long serving magistrate, at Dewsbury and latterly Huddersfield Courts.

Since Mr Scaife passed away his family - he leaves wife Margaret and daughters Yvonne and Jacky and their families - have received messages from condolence from across the world.