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Friends pay tribute to former Wirral mayor Arthur Smith, who died today
TRIBUTES have been paid to former Wirral mayor Arthur Smith, 79, who has died after a long illness.
An Old Boy of Birkenhead institute, former insurance salesman and keen historian, Mr Smith was the borough’s civic leader from 1987 to 1988.
He was also the owner and resident of Wilfred Owen’s former home in Elm Grove, Birkenhead.
He successfully campaigned for a commemorative plaque to be fitted on the former home of the acclaimed First World War poet.
The plaque was unveiled by Owen's nephew, Peter, in 2001.
Mr Smith retired from the council in1990.
His funeral will be held at Landican cemetery a week on Thursday, March 21, at 1pm.
Bebington Labour councillor Walter Smith said: “I had been a friend for more than 50 years. He was a great serviceman for the party and a great character.
“He been a Co-op insurance man and later worked for the Inland Revenue. Those he worked with were very fond of him and he used to treat them really well.
“He was a very gracious, generous man and very supportive.
“He will be sorely missed.”
Councillor Jerry Williams, Wirral Council’s heritage champion, said: “He was a revered local politician who gave tremendous service to Birkenhead and Wirral.
“He was devoted to preserving the borough’s links with Wilfred Owen.”
Dean Johnson, from Wilfred Owen museum in Birkenhead, said: “Arthur was a great custodian of Owen’s legacy.
“He had carried out a lot of research on Owen and I eagerly wanted to meet him, but never had the chance.”