Former Lynn News editor Dyker Thew, one of the first reporters to enter Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on its liberation, died at his home in Hunstanton, Norfolk, on 2 March. He was 96.
Thew’s great-grandfather founded the Lynn Advertiser in 1841, later to become the Lynn News, now owned by Johnston Press.
Thew was the fourth generation of his family to edit the paper. He was born in 1907 to a wealthy family and spent his childhood at Boston Square, Hunstanton.
Dyker Frank Thew had found a niche in newspapers owned by Sir Richard Winfrey at Kettering in 1927, and later at Peterborough and Wellingborough, with a spell as a reporter in Brighton on the Sussex Daily News.
In 1941, during the Second World War, Sir Richard invited him back to King’s Lynn to edit the Lynn Advertiser.
As an accredited war correspondent, he witnessed the liberation of Bergen-Belsen and interviewed Norfolk Regiment soldiers involved in cleaning up the camp. In a Lynn News article, he said: “I saw hundreds of skeleton-like people walking about in black-and-white-striped pyjama-style uniforms. Some recovered but some died while we were there.”
In 1945 he led the victory parade of all West Norfolk battalions of the Home Guard around King’s Lynn’s Tuesday Market Place and through the town.
He moved from the Lynn News in 1949 to be managing director of a Colchester paper and then sold insurance until he retired about 32 years ago.
He enjoyed playing golf and writing in his retirement, publishing his first book at the age of 95.
Married twice, Thew leaves a widow, Bar, son John, daughter Jane, stepchildren Robin, Penny and Kim, eight grandchildren and six greatgrandchildren.
Malcolm Powell, editor, Lynn News