David Buckle, the magistrate, councillor and Trade union leader who campaigned for a weekly wage for workers at the Cowley car plant has died aged 92.

During 24 years as the Transport and General Workers’ Union secretary for Oxford he fought many battles to improve the lot of the men at Cowley, against what he called "appallingly bad senior management".

Brought up in an unregistered children's home in London, he grew up as a leader for the workers in Oxford and also served as a councillor and magistrate.

He was awarded an MBE in 1988 for his public service.

David Buckle was born in 1924, an illegitimate son of parents who would give him up at birth.

His first memories were of living at an unregulated children's home in Streatham, South London where he was looked after by a woman he referred to as his 'guardian'.

He worked as an errand and office boy as the home moved to Ramsgate in Kent.

Later on he would learn that children from the home were sold on for labour and recalled himself being "offered for sale to well-dressed men in large cars looking for strong young boys capable of physical labour in Australia".

Fortunately, he was considered too puny.

He had to leave the home aged 12 after the money supplied by his anonymous father for his upbringing ran out.

Finding shelter at a local church as a house boy, the vicar paid him 10p per week before deducting 7p for lodgings and then fining him 3p per week for failing to clean properly.

This experience ingrained a sense of social injustice and inequality which informed his politics in later life.

After returning to the home briefly, he was sent to a residential camp in Radley where worked twelve-hours days as a farm labourer.

He would meet his future wife Beryl Stimpson outside the village pub one day and they would later marry on December 30, 1944.

The couple had two sons, Alan and Peter, and shared the next 69 years together before Beryl died in 2013.

His son Alan said he described his family as his greatest achievement as he "started without one and made one of his own."

After completing wartime service in the Royal Marines - progressing to the rank of Sergeant - he returned to Radley and worked as a spot welder at the Pressed Steel factory in Cowley.

He immediately joined the Transport and General Workers Union (now Unite) in 1947, becoming a shop steward where he fought to improve the pay and conditions of fellow workers in what he described "as that filthy black hell hole of a work place."

His campaign as a shop steward to replace what he considered to be a grossly unfair and hated piece work system with a weekly wage led to him being appointed as the full time TGWU Oxford district secretary in 1964 - a role he fulfilled until retirement in 1988.

He enrolled at an adult learning centre in Oxford studying English and Politics and unsuccessfully ran for MP as a Labour candidate in 1955 and 1959 in the Banbury constituency.

A political career did form later on when he was a Labour councillor with Oxfordshire County Council from 1989-2001 and a magistrate in Oxford for more than 30 years.

In 1988 he was awarded an MBE for public services and an honorary doctorate from Oxford Brookes for services to society, politics and justice.

He is survived by his two sons, Alan and Peter, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held for him at Radley Parish Church today at 1pm, all are welcome and donations can be made to Cancer Research.