Obituary – Ernest Sandford (C2 1937-42)

Known as Sandy, Ernest Sandford (C2 1937-42) died in August 2020, aged 97.

After leaving Marlborough College in 1942, Sandy was due to go to Cambridge to study Classics but instead signed up to the Marines where he served mainly in Italy before traveling to India for training in preparation to fight in Japan, a posting which never happened due to the bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Illness saw him repatriated to a hospital in Kent where he was able to watch the near-by golfers, resulting in him to trying and falling in love with the game. He later became the oldest member of the Royal County Down Golf Club.

Towards the end of the war he met Patricia Heyn, who he later married in 1949, and then moved to Belfast where he became the photographer for the News Letter, before becoming trainee manager at a flax mill. After they were married, he was promoted to manager and soon their first two children, Jill and David were born.

In 1959, he bought a farm in Portloughan. Here they had two more children, Julian and Phillip.

In the 1960s, he enlisted in the Ulster Defence Regiment as a Major and he was later awarded an MBE in 1980 for his services. After this, he was appointed High Sheriff of Co Down and then Deputy Lieutenant.

Sandy loved to build things. He made, from scratch, four boats and a caravan, in which the family took their holidays.

In 1984, Patricia died after a long illness and he later married Mary Clark with whom he enjoyed his retirement.

Full obituaries can be read in The Times (subscription needed) and The Down Recorder.


Photo credit to The Times.