Reg Clarke, the former Mayor of Swindon, who dedicated his life to building closer links between Swindon and its twin town Salzgitter in Germany died in the Great Western Hospital on 6 March at the age of 87.
A veteran of the Dunkirk evacuation, Reg left the Great Western Railway to go to war, but afterwards worked tirelessly to create a peaceful Europe through the Swindon-Salzgitter Twinning Association which he served for thirty years, having being instrumental in setting it up in the early 1970s.
A few years ago the town of Salzgitter presented Reg with the Stadtmedallion or town medal. There he was nick-named 'The Locomotive' after a former Mayor of Salzgitter told him he had to be the driver of the link between the twin towns.
In October 2005 Reg became only the second British citizen to receive an award from the German government for his commitment to better relations between the two countries. The presentation was made at a commemorative dinner between officials and councillors from Swindon and Salzgitter, ostensibly to celebrate Reg's 86th birthday.
At the time he told SwindonLink, "I was completely taken aback when Max from the German embassy read out the award; I couldn't hold the tears back. It's wonderful for me personally, but it' also a recognition that Swindon has such good relations with Salzgitter."
Over the years Reg and his late wife Mary made 48 official and private trips. Sadly Mary died on a visit to Salzgitter in 1991.
Reg was a member of the Labour Party since childhood and a long serving member of Swindon Corporation and Thamesdown Borough Council. He was Mayor of the town from 1980 to 1981.
He will be long remembered in the Pinehurst area of Swindon, having taken on the tenancy of his council house from his parents.
North Swindon MP Michael Wills said he was extremely sorry to hear of Reg's passing. "Reg Clarke was a wonderful man and I'm proud that he was my friend. He taught me a great deal.
"He was a wonderful servant of this town; he made a huge contribution in so many ways over many years."
Pictured above, Reg receives his award from German Embassy counsellor Max Maldacker with the Mayor Swindon Ray Fisher and Oberburgemeister Helmut Kneibel.
Below, Reg with friends from Swindon and Salgitter celebrating his German Embassy award.