WELL-KNOWN East Lothian resident George Dudgeon passed away just short of his 94th birthday.

His first home was on New Street near the harbour in Musselburgh where he grew up with sister Jean.

His mother Margaret ‘Maggie’ Ritchie came from one of the large fishing families in Fisherrow. His father William Wilson Dudgeon’s side of the family were from Prestonpans. His dad worked in the local pits before taking up employment at the wire mill in Musselburgh.

Mr Dudgeon attended Campie Primary School and Musselburgh Grammar School.

Memories of his young years were always important to him and he was part of the 1930 Club, members of which had started at the Grammar School together. They continued to meet regularly to chat and remember times growing up in Musselburgh.

In his early years, Mr Dudgeon was involved in the Coast Mission and then Musselburgh Congregational Church, where he became a deacon. He was also a member of the 59th company of the Boys’ Brigade and that started his association with St Andrew’s High Church.

Mr Dudgeon’s first job was with the Inland Revenue and he moved to LNER, where he worked as a relief station master.

As a young man, he volunteered for the navy in 1944 and began training in Portsmouth before joining HMS Indefatigable. The crew had been assigned to support the American Navy as its troops advanced on Japan in the final stages of the Second World War.

Mr Dudgeon remembered the victory tour of the ship in 1946 which took the crew to Australia and New Zealand. When the vessel arrived in Auckland, he visited people with Musselburgh connections who welcomed him to their home and played golf with him. The ship also picked up Japanese prisoners of war in Hong Kong to take back to their home base in Sydney.

On his return to Britain, he was posted in Donibristle, near Rosyth, before returning to his previous work on the railways.

Mr Dudgeon had ambitions to train as a journalist and went on a course where he learned typing, shorthand and reporting. Even if he never fully entered journalism, the skills he learned served him well.

After his war service, he met his future wife Nan as they travelled together to Edinburgh by train. Nan worked as a tailoress in Patrick Thomson’s on George Street. The couple were married in Musselburgh Congregational Church in 1948 and their early years of family life were in Musselburgh, first on Market Street and then Links Street.

In 1950, Mr Dudgeon took up a new job with Scottish Widows and rose up through the ranks in a career that lasted until his retirement in 1986. He specialised in company pensions.

The couple’s sons Bill and Charles were born in 1953 and 1957 respectively.

Work commitments took Mr Dudgeon away from Musselburgh, first in 1967 when the family moved to Cheadle Hulme after he was posted to the Manchester office of Scottish Widows, then Nottingham and Liverpool. He was working in the Birmingham office of Scottish Widows and living in Lichfield when he retired. They then returned to Musselburgh.

A keen golfer, Mr Dudgeon had honed his skills on the Old Course at Musselburgh with hickory-shafted clubs. He enjoyed playing on other local courses including Royal Musselburgh, Musselburgh Golf Club and Longniddry, where he had remained a member.

The couple lived at Inveresk for a time before moving to Tranent.

Mr Dudgeon continued with many interests, including the Old Musselburgh Club, Rotary Club of Musselburgh and 1930 Club. He and Nan enjoyed visiting their family in North Wales and America. They used to travel to Austria every year and celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in 2008.

Mr Dudgeon was devastated when Nan died very suddenly the following year. His friends and his various interests kept him going through difficult times, but things were never the same without her companionship and support.

He met up with friends from his schooldays at Luca’s and attended coffee mornings at St Andrew’s High, where Coco his dog was a particularly popular visitor.

Mr Dudgeon lived on Sanderson’s Wynd, Tranent, until July last year when he moved to The Abbey care home in North Berwick. He passed away peacefully at the care home on New Year’s Day aged 93, just short of his 94th birthday on January 5.

His funeral took place at Seafield Crematorium on January 15.

Mr Dudgeon, a grandfather of two and great grandfather of three, is survived by his two sons.