Born in Sheffield on April 4 1928, when Les Mercer came of age he joined the Royal signals as it was always his ambition to join the Army.
It was on leave when he first came to Antrim to visit his brother Ron, who lived in Antrim then.
Unknown to him this visit was to change his life forever because he meet his lifelong partner, a girl from Church Street, Lizy Laughlin.
Their love for each other was so strong and the couple were married within six months in All Saints Church.
From this point, Antrim became Les’ home and the couple lived in Riverside, Belmont Park and Massereene Street before moving to the Menin Road, where Les, Liz and their four daughters had many happy times.
Les’ girls Anne, Alice, Margaret and Lesley were the apples of his eye, and both he and Liz lived for the girls, then the grand-children and eventuall their great-grandchildren.
As the years went on, Les dedicated a lot of his time to the Antrim branch of the Royal British Legion.
He soon rose through the ranks and held almost every office possible including the highest position; this afforded him life long membership.
When he retired he continued to be active within the branch, always being helpful and supportive to the new comrades coming through the branch club.
Something that always stood out at his home was the telegram he and Liz recieved last year from the Queen for 60 years of marriage.
The telegram took pride of place in the family home and Les often loved to talk about it and his beloved sweetheart, whom he often said he would never have swapped for the world.
Liz passed away suddenly last October, and whilst this had a devastating effect on Les and the girls, he never once complained.
Sadly Les passed away last week, surrounded by his loving girls and went again to be with “ma”.
The respect for Les was clear on Wednesday by the large crowd of mourners that attended the funeral service at All Saints church, and as the Legion funeral wound its way up Church Street to the sounds of a lone piper.