A former Oxfordshire police officer also spent more than 20 years working for the Royal Air Force.

Philip James Hilsdon, 73, passed away peacefully at home in Dersingham, Norfolk, on July 13, with his wife Gillian and daughter Rachel beside him.

Philip was born in Oxford on August 26, 1947, and worked in several jobs including being a policeman. This was when he met his wife-to-be, policewoman Gillian Smith, in Banbury.

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The couple met in June 1968 and married on September 28 at Bladon Methodist church near Woodstock, It was the same year that the Thames Valley Police force was formed.

Mr Hilsdon moved throughout the UK during his 22-and-a-half years of service in the Royal Air Force.

His overseas postings included Cyprus, Iceland, and Ascension Island where he spent time away from his family that he loved so much and to whom he wrote daily.

Mr Hilsdon is survived by his beloved wife, best friend, and companion, Gillian Hilsdon (née Smith), his daughter Rachel Hilsdon, son James Hilsdon, and his granddaughter Arabella Hilsdon.

He is also survived by his four siblings, Carolyn, Roz, Julie, and Jonathan.

A fan of The Rolling Stones, he was an avid bird watcher, fisherman, and reader of spy novels.

In his years of retirement he also spent his time painting, and rambling in the countryside.

He also enjoyed playing the guitar and mouth organ, and enjoying spending time with friends.

Completing his journal each day was his way of reflecting on all he was grateful for.

Fun, jovial, reliable, and loving, Mr Hilsdon was a great man who will be so missed, and he will be fondly remembered by all who knew him.

The funeral service will be held at Mintlyn Crematorium in King’s Lynn at 3.15pm on July 29.

There will be a reception to follow.

The Hilsdon family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations should go to Tapping House, Norfolk Hospice where they will be greatly appreciated.