THE WIDOW of a former aircraft engine fitter who died of asbestos-related cancer is appealing to old workmates to establish how he developed the disease.
Wilfred Cecil Price died around two months after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer. It is often linked to asbestos exposure decades earlier.
Lawyers are currently investigating whether Wilfred, from Willenhall in Coventry, may have been exposed to asbestos during his employment at the General Electric Company and Bristol Siddeley Engines Ltd, which later became Rolls Royce.
He worked with the company for two decades before retiring in 1981 and running the former Co-op stores in Napton until he retired completely in 1995.
After his death age 87 in 2018, his widow Pauline – who was married to him for 66 years – contacted lawyers Irwin Mitchell – to investigate his illness and whether it may have been related to his working life.
Pauline, said: “Wilf was such a wonderful husband, dad, grandad, and great-grandad. Not only did all the family love him but he was well liked in the community and by his many friends.
“Being told about his diagnosis was a huge shock. It was awful seeing how quickly he deteriorated as the cancer took hold. Because of this we feel that we didn’t get to say goodbye to him properly.
“Wilf was never happier than when spending time with his family, grandchildren, and great grandchildren or doing sudoku, crossword puzzles, playing bingo or watching any kind of sport on television. We all continue to miss him so much and still have so many questions about what caused his illness.
“While nothing will change what has happened, we feel we deserve some answers to the concerns we have. We would be so grateful to anyone who has any information about Wilf’s work. It could mean everything in at least providing us with some closure.”
Wilfred – who was known to friends and loved ones as Wilf or Taffy – joined the General Electric Company on Browns Lane in 1954. After five years, he moved to Bristol Siddeley Engines Ltd in 1959 and remained with the company after it was bought by Rolls Royce Ltd in 1966.
While he was based at the company’s site in Ansty, he visited airfields in Bristol, Derby, Oxford and Cambridge. Based primarily in the rig shop, he told family how he carried out maintenance work on fuel/oil pumps. This meant he would strip engines, undertake repairs and then rebuild them.
Anyone who worked alongside Wilfred or has information on the sites where he was employed is asked to get in touch by emailing [email protected] or call 0121 214 5457.