Former mayor of Kettering dies

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A former mayor of Kettering died peacefully last week at the age of 91, exactly 71 years after being severely wounded at the battle of Monte Cassino.

Ron Liggins survived the war to become mayor of Kettering in 1969, serving as town councillor in the Kingsley ward between 1963 and 1975.

A lifelong Kettering resident, Mr Liggins fought with the Northamptonshire Regiment in North Africa and Italy during the Second World War.

He returned home to marry Eileen, and to work at Kaycee Clothing, the Prudential Assurance Company and the British Steel tubeworks in Corby.

His days on the council began controversially with a number of speeches on contentious local issues.

However, his non-political concern for local people made him a popular figure.

In 1969, after only six years as a councillor, he was elected as the first independent mayor of the borough and the youngest mayor at that time, at just 45 years of age.

After 12 years as councillor, he retired from service to make way for others and to devote more time to supporting his family and the work of local voluntary groups, including the Scouts.

Sons Geoffrey and David said: “We are proud of all that Dad achieved and the example he set.

“He was a quiet, determined, lovely man with a great sense of humour right to the end.”

His wife, Eileen, survives him after 66 years of happy marriage.

A service of thanksgiving will take place at Kettering Central Methodist Church at 3.30pm on Thursday, May 28.