Tributes to respected Burnley war veteran and former Lucas employee Ken Dawson

Trubutes have been paid to a highly respected Burma war veteran and former Lucas engineer from Burnley.

Mr Ken Dawson, who served in the treacherous jungles of Burma during the Second World War, was a prominent member of the Burnley branch of the Royal British Legion, and was a regular face at memorial parades in the town.

He was also well known from his 42 years working at the former Lucas Aerospace Woodtop Works where he once helped to work on turbines for Concorde.

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Mr Dawson, who died at home in Burnley on Monday aged 94, was also heavily involved with Rosegrove Unity Club.

Ken Dawson on a memorial parade in Burnley

His only child, David Dawson, spoke to the Burnley Express via telephone from Kati in New Zealand about his remarkable father who he described as "firm but fair."

David said: "Dad was extremely well-known throughout Burnley where he was a proud member of the legion. Serving with the 1st Battalion Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) he fought in the 'Forgotten War' in the jungles of Burma with the Chindits, and often recounted the many ambushes his unit was exposed to. He used to joke he was either chasing the Japanese or he was chasing them.

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"He must have been one of the last surviving members of the Burma Star Association, and was present at the official Japanese surrender. He was later transferred to India at the end of the war before returning home to Burnley where he married my late mother Grace in 1947."

Starrting work as a joiner, Mr Dawson went on to work as a welder for David Brown Tractors before becoming a master craftsman welder at Lucas. He was probably the last surviving member from the workforce there.

Ken and his former Lucas colleagues

Away from work, Mr Dawson served on the committee of the former Griffin Hotel in Rossendale Road and as secretary and treasurer at Rosegrove Unity for many years.

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He had two grandchildren, Stuart and the late Steven, as well as four great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

His funeral will be held at Burnley Crematorium on May 5th but David is planning a memorial in New Zealand next year for his father.

Ken pictured during the Burma Campaign