Mervyn Short: Gloucester Citizen reporter and news editor

Mervyn Short, a former news editor of the Gloucester Citizen, has died aged 86.

In charge of the paper’s newsroom until his retirement in 1981, Mervyn is remembered by his colleagues as a “first-class journalist of the old school”. “He paid a great deal of attention to detail and integrity,” said his deputy news editor, now retired, Ron Gardiner.

“He was a very courteous man in the way he handled his staff. And he go the best out of his reporters in a firm but fair way. He also had very good local knowledge.”

Yet Mervyn was modest about his adventures before he entered local newspapers. Another colleague, Hugh Worsnip, said: “He reluctantly told me he was a spotter in the Royal Artillery sent to advance positions, right up to enemy lines to identify targets. It was extremely dangerous.”

He served with the First Army in Africa, throughout the Italian Campaign and at the end of the war worked on the forces newspaper Union Jack in Rome.

Mervyn became a trainee reporter on the former Stroud News in his teens. He later joined the Citizen as a reporter, then became chief reporter and eventually news editor.

Gardiner said: “He had a phenomenal memory. He could remember the dates of events locally without looking up the files.”

Deeply involved in tabernacle life, Mervyn taught in the Sunday school, sang in the choir, played in the former orchestra, became a deacon and later secretary. He edited the tabernacle’s magazine for 40 years and, before his death, had been able to complete his meticulous research of its history.

Mervyn is survived by his wife, Peggy, his daughter and his granddaughter.

Jo Barber

Jo Barber

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