From Isle of Wight County Press Friday 1 May 2009
FORMER merchant seaman Donald Leslie Solley has died, aged 87.
Mr Solley was born in Kent on December 19, 1921.
One of seven children, he joined the Royal Navy, aged 19, and served on a number of destroyers, including the Resolution, Eskimo and Albatross during the Second World War.
Mr Solley became a petty officer and in later years moved to the Union Castle Line, travelling worldwide as a merchant seaman.
After leaving the forces, Mr Solley became catering manager for the Lord Mayor Treloar College in Alton, Hampshire, before retiring to the Island, aged 62, with his wife of 53 years, Mary.
Mr Solley had a love of the sea and also enjoyed spending time with his seven children.
Shortly before his death, he wrote a book, reliving stories of his life.
He leaves his wife, children Robert, Wendy, Stephen, Amanda, Mark, Deirdre and Natalie, and 14 grandchildren.
Mr Solley will be buried at sea, in a private ceremony later this month.