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Funeral Service for Alderman and Guildford Doctor Who ‘Stuck to His Beliefs’

Published on: 30 Apr, 2017
Updated on: 1 May, 2017

Hon Alderman Dr Robert Blundell

Civic dignitaries gathered at Holy Trinity Church on Thursday (April 27 2017) for the funeral service of Hon Alderman Dr Robert Blundell who died on March 26.

Hon Freeman David Watts, Hon Remembrancer Matthew Alexander, the managing director of Guildford Borough Council and ten honorary aldermen were joined by the mayor and deputy mayor of Guildford, half a dozen serving councillors and a congregation of around 100, including former medical colleagues, to pay their respects.

Robert Blundell’s coffin is carried in to Holy Trinity Church

Dr Blundell’s son, also Robert, who followed his father’s footstep’s into medical general practice, told the congregation of his father’s personal history. He said that after a difficult childhood he showed both academic and sporting promise, playing in goal for Sussex as a schoolboy.

He studied at St George’s Medical School, London and was once carpeted for a student prank after which money was put behind the student bar for those involved by those who had earlier pronounced on the punishment.

Still while a student and working as a security guard, he was jumped by an assailant on whom he turned the tables, leaving the assailant the worse off of the two.

His son recounted how Dr Blundell had met his wife to be at a swimming pool, dramatically introduced himself by “bombing” her.

International travel as a student to Europe and later when a doctor to Jamaica had broadened his outlook. On return to the UK he worked as a GP in Guildford who would not hesitate to make house calls to his patients.

The stroke he suffered in 2006 tragically affected his physical capability only seven years after his retirement but his character and sense of humour were still apparent at times.

Touchingly his son concluded: “He loved us as we loved him.”

Mayor Gordon Jackson, GBC MD Sue Sturgeon, and behind Deputy Mayor, Nigel Manning and Freeman David Watts, lead the procession of dignitaries from Holy Trinity back to the Guildhall after the funeral service

In his eulogy the Mayor of Guildford Gordon Jackson said: “Robert was first elected to the former borough council in 1972 for what was then the St. Nicolas Ward and served as a borough councillor for 33 years until 2005.

“He was Mayor of Guildford in 1999/2000 and, following his resignation from the council due to a stroke, the council conferred upon Robert the much deserved title of Honorary Alderman in 2006 in recognition of his eminent service rendered to the council both as a councillor and as past mayor of the borough.

“Throughout his time as a councillor, one of Robert’s principal interests was housing.  He served on the Housing and Health Committee and for a time he was also chairman of the Housing Management Sub-Committee.”

Having mentioned Robert Blundell’s role as a respected GP, his charity work, his hobby of photography and his interest and support for public transport, once even arriving on a bus for an event in full mayoral garb, Cllr Jackson concluded: “Perhaps the most lasting testament to Robert’s memory is the universal respect that councillors from all political parties held for him.

“When I first started as a councillor a senior councillor said to me that the most important thing is that you must be true to yourself, behave with integrity and not be afraid to stick to your beliefs.

“Robert epitomised this approach and will always be remembered for it.”

See also: Death Announced of Former Mayor Robert Blundell

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Responses to Funeral Service for Alderman and Guildford Doctor Who ‘Stuck to His Beliefs’

  1. Gordon Bridger Reply

    May 1, 2017 at 11:00 am

    A very moving tribute to a well respected councillor who served us well and was tragically and undeservedly struck down. Thanks to The Guildford Dragon NEWS for the coverage.

  2. Channon Cornwallis Reply

    June 2, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    Just after Robert was made Mayor of Guildford, he was being driven past the old hospital in town when my sister and I spotted him.

    We both immediately pulled up one trouser leg, waved our legs in the air and thumb hitched him.

    I’ll always remember seeing him rolling about with laughter on the back seat of the mayoral car as he waved at us out of the window.

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