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Firefighter who met Kate loses battle with cancer

A Grimsby firefighter who greeted The Duchess of Cambridge during her visit to the town in 2013, passed away on December 29 after losing a six-year battle with cancer.

Pete Oxley first joined Humberside Fire and Rescue Service in 2003. He had previously served in the Royal Marines for four and a half years, but retired in 2001 after the birth of his daughter, Evie. Since then, he has been on Red Watch at the Peaks Lane Fire Station, where his colleagues described him as an “absolutely top bloke” who always put himself before others.

He was diagnosed with myeloma in 2008, but despite undergoing chemotherapy and having stem cell and bone marrow transplants, he continued to return to work. His brave fight against the illness inspired his friends and colleagues, who collectively raised thousands of pounds for Myeloma UK, a cancer charity, in his honour.

In 2013, during a Royal Visit to Peaks Lane Dire Station, Pete had the chance to meet The Duchess of Cambridge, along with his daughter Evie, who presented Kate with a bouquet of flowers. It was one of his proudest moments and his widow, Natalie, said: “He really enjoyed that. He kept jokingly referring to her as his girlfriend for a long time afterwards! He was bowled over by how stunning she was.”

“He was a very determined guy. He set his heart on certain things and would fight as hard as he could to get there,” she added about her late husband. “The words do not exist to express how deeply he was loved and how much he will be missed. He was an amazing dad and everything he did was to make sure Evie could achieve what she wanted to achieve.”

Pete’s 13 year-old daughter said: “He was really funny. He used to play with me all the time and he would make me and my friends bananas and custard with chocolate. He gave up his dream job for me.”

Since his passing, numerous tributes have been paid to the popular firefighter, whose funeral will take place at Grimsby Crematorium on the 15th of January.

Featured photo credit: Kelly Harrison 2014

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