A TOWN is mourning the death of a pillar of the community.

James Tunney, of Bod Offa Drive, Buckley died peacefully on Sunday, aged 81, after a short illness.

Known as Jim, he leaves behind widow Margaret, son Mike and daughters Eileen and Marie.

He lived in Buckley for more than 40 years after moving to the region and became a prominent figure in his adopted town.

An official trumpeter for the Royal British Legion, Mr Tunney was also a dedicated member the Royal Buckley Town Band.

Paying tribute, his daughter Marie said: “Dad was well-liked by an awful lot of people and will be sadly missed.

”He was originally from the North-East but came down here to work 43 years ago, and one of the first things he did was join the town band because he was a brass player.

”He worked in area sales and met a lot of people that way.”

She added: “He served his country when he did his National Service and also the Territorial Army with the SAS.

”He was never allowed to talk about that, and we always used to think he was joking, but he really wasn’t. Dad really liked to help people, and did.”

Tributes were also paid by life peer and former MP Lord Barry Jones, a close friend of Mr Tunney and his family.

He said: “Mr Tunney was a faithful, loyal Royal British Legion stalwart in the town and in the county.

”He was a splendid player of The Last Post and he read the Remembrance poem so very well.

”I collaborated with him the last 40 years marching and parading alongside him as an ex-serviceman myself.

”He was so proud of his RBL connection and the Legion greatly respected him for his contribution.

”Mr Tunney was an important member of the Royal Buckley Town Band and as president I can testify to his longstanding membership and to the way he encouraged younger players.”

Mr Tunney was a worshipper at Our Lady of the Rosary Roman Catholic Church in Buckley.

Lord Jones added: “I rather think the congregation of his church will miss him greatly, as will Father [Francis] Doyle. Jim was so well liked by all.

“Lastly, Janet and I offer our sincere sympathy to this distinguished and greatly-liked Buckley citizen.

“He made his contribution to the town in the best of ways.”

He continued: “How proud I was to be alongside Jim at the noble ceremony he organised at Hawkesbury to acknowledge in 2014 the start of the First World War, the Great War.

“It was a touching moment in Buckley’s history.

“We were also together at the ceremony of the plaque for the town’s VC.

”Jim was a fine man.”

Funeral details have yet to be announced.