A RETIRED soldier who was instrumental in setting up the Turning the Pages ceremony at Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral has died aged 68.

Major Bob Sheldon became involved in the Oxfordshire Yeomanry Association when he took voluntary redundancy from the Army and began working for the Territorial Army in Banbury.

Originally he sat on the committee because of his role as an administrative officer, but he became more and more involved and went on to become secretary of the Oxfordshire Yeomanry Association and welfare officer of the Oxfordshire Yeomanry Trust.

It was in these roles that he helped establish the Turning the Pages ceremony which has been running since 2002.

The ceremony, which takes place twice a month, involves reading out the names of those who fought and died as members of the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars, and the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

Major Sheldon was also involved in helping establish the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock, which the Oxfordshire Yeomanry Association is a partner in.

Robert Sheldon was born in Sheffield on March 20, 1945.

He grew up in the city and left at the age of 17 when he joined the Army, enrolling in the Royal Corps of Signals.

During his time in the Army he was posted to Singapore, France and Germany and in 1986 he also served in the Falklands for six months.

He was an Army boxing champion for his weight and was never defeated.

But in 1992 he took voluntary redundancy during the options for change process and it was at this stage that he moved to Oxfordshire, living first in Banbury and then moving to Bicester.

In 1995 he began working for the Territorial Army in Banbury as a permanent staff administration officer and it was through this that he first became involved in the Oxfordshire Yeomanry.

His “day job” was facilities manager at Wychwood School in Banbury Road, Oxford, where he had been working since 2008 and was much loved by the staff and pupils.

Major Sheldon, who lived in Bicester, died on July 10 after contracting an infection following a bone marrow transplant, and his funeral took place at Christ Church Cathedral on July 25.

He is survived by his first wife Kathleen, from whom he divorced shortly before moving to Oxfordshire after a marriage of around 25 years, and his second wife Jo Riley, 50, who he married in Rhyl in 1997, as well as by his two children Keith, 42, and Emma, 40, and four granddaughters.