A lifelong resident, Royal Marine and former 1st Cheam Group Scout Leader has sadly died.

Michael Helps (July 25, 1935) from Cheam, passed away on May 21.

Michael joined 1st Cheam cubs at the age of eight and later became a scout leader until his scouting retirement.

A devoted leader, Michael continued to support the group at camps and the training of the next generation of scouts.

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His father owned an electrical shop, HELPS Electrics, in Upper Mulgrave Road, Sutton, which gave Michael his interest in all things electrical.

After being inspired by his father, Michael had a 40-year career with British Telecom, as an architectural technician with his first telephone exchange being Worcester Park.

In 1953, he joined the Royal Marines for his two years national service, his only time away from Cheam, and remained a reservist in the Boat Division for a further 10 years.

Adored by many, the scout leader leaves behind his three children, eight grandchildren and great-granddaughter.

He had a genuine love of Cheam and did not want to live anywhere else. 

Your Local Guardian: Michael HelpsMichael Helps

His love of swimming meant he was a frequent visitor to Cheam baths and held the record there for breaststroke for many years.

Michael's son, Michael Helps Junior, said: "I was always amazed by the range and depth of his knowledge built up from years of learning and listening.

"It will be strange and sad to not be able to go to our human encyclopaedia of know-how.

"Dad was at his happiest with either his family, scouting, swimming with friends or with his much-loved dog Shep.

"He will always be missed but remembered in so many things we do because of the skills, knowledge and experiences he lovingly shared with us.”

His funeral will take place on June 24, 2020, but due to current restrictions, only close family will be allowed to attend.

The possession will be driving slowly past the 1st Cheam Scout Headquarters in Cheam Village at 1 pm on June 24, for anyone wishing to pay their respects.

Instead of flowers, Michael's family are fundraising for British Heart Foundation.