Service to remember William ‘Lexie’ Edgar

William Alexander Edgar pictured in 1992 at Hillsborough Castle with his wife Molly and son Richard when he was invested with the British Empire Medal for Service to the St John Ambulance by the Lord Lieutenant Michael McCorkell, Also pictured is Albert Smallwoods.
William Alexander Edgar pictured in 1992 at Hillsborough Castle with his wife Molly and son Richard when he was invested with the British Empire Medal for Service to the St John Ambulance by the Lord Lieutenant Michael McCorkell, Also pictured is Albert Smallwoods.

A service of thanksgiving will be held in Christchurch, Derry at the end of April to celebrate the life of the longest serving volunteer of St John Ambulance.

William Alexander Edgar, known affectionately as ‘Lexie’ passed away on March 5, 2013, he was 92 years-old.

Lexi was born in Patrick Street in Derry and attended the Model Primary School. He was well known for singing in the Choir of Great James’ Street Presbyterian Church.

The Derry man held the distinction of being the longest serving volunteer in St John Ambulance, and a first recipient of the Laurel Leaf which is presented to members with 50 years’ service.

Mr Edgar joined the St John Ambulance Brigade in 1940. He was at first an ambulance member and then became a nursing officer with the local Ambulance Division. He qualified as a State Registered nurse and later as a State Registered mental nurse. His early working days were spent in the Old Strand Road Mental Hospital and later in Gransha Hospital, where he rose to the rank of charge nurse.

During the Second World War Mr Edgar was one of the St John Ambulance team to render first aid to the injured sailors and soldiers arriving at the Derry docks from ships that had taken part in the Battle of the Atlantic.

In the post war years he served the St John Brigade in many capacities, working under seven area commissioners and he took over as the Area Staff Officer of the city area in the 1960s. His last role was as Area Vice President of the Western Area. He retired from active service in 1995. Mr Edgar was also chairman of the St John Hall committee for many years.

Mr Edgar was admitted to the Order in 1961, was promoted to officer rank in 1978 and, in recognition of his outstanding service to St John, was made a Commander in 1998. He was awarded a BEM in 1992 for his services to St John.

He also served as the North West FAW instructor from 1978 until the 1990s, and his classes in the St John Hall in Hawkin Street were well supported.

A founder member of the Londonderry Fellowship branch in 1987, Mr Edgar was chairman at the time of his death.

Mr Edgar had an outgoing personality and was always impeccably dressed.

A large number of St John members are expected to attended the Service of Thanksgiving in Christ Church on April 28 at 5pm.

He is survived by wife Molly and children Elizabeth and Richard.