FORMER Lord Mayor of Oxford, Second World War veteran and all-round community champion Bill Buckingham has died at the age of 96.

Tributes were paid last week to the 'Rose Hill legend', who held a seat on Oxford City Council for decades, after he passed away from sepsis on June 21.

Mr Buckingham, who was born one of ten children; having four brothers and five sisters, lived his whole life in Oxford and was born in St Clement's on May 21, 1921.

Growing up in Cutteslowe he left school at the age of 14 before taking his first job at the Wolvercote paper mill.

When the Second World War broke out he was quick to sign up and even lied about his age to join the ranks and serve his country.

He was a soldier of the 4th Battalion of Oxfordshire Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and ended his military career with the military police in Egypt before he left the Armed Forces after suffering an injury.

On his return to Oxford he met his wife Margaret nee Garner, who was originally from London and was working in a factory in Aylesbury at the time they met.

They married in 1943 and moved to their first home in Headington when they had three children together; Nigel, Terry and Jennifer.

Soon after the family moved together to Rose Hill with his parents before moving out and finding a home.

Here they would spend the rest of their lives and spent more than 60 years together, moving house only once, and even then in a building just across the street.

Following his military service, Mr Buckingham worked for what was then known as Cowley car plants from 1948 until 1984 when he took early retirement.

Wearing a number of hats, he was also a Justice of the Peace for more than 30 years at East Oxfordshire Magistrates' Court.

But his true passion, alongside his lifelong support for Arsenal Football Club and Oxford United, was for public service.

He was a Labour councillor for Littlemore serving as a parish councillor for fifty years as well as serving as Lord Mayor of Oxford between 1994 and 1995.

Hi son Nigel said that his biggest interest was in public service and that it meant a lot to him to serve his community.

His wife Margaret passed away on September 22, 2011 and he is survived by his children Nigel, 68, and Jennifer, 64, as well as four grand-children and six great grand-children.

A funeral service will be held at Oxford Crematorium, Bayswater Road at 11am on July 10. All are welcome to attend.