FORMER accountant and a member of several local clubs, Leslie Stephen Thomas from Poole, has died at the age of 84.

"Les Thomas was born in 1933 in Dorchester Road, Poole, to a family of bakers. He attended Poole Grammar School, where he became a scout leader and after leaving school began studying accountancy through a correspondence course whilst articled to Edwin G Pulsford, a firm of accountants in Poole," said Mark Thomas, one of his sons.

He then did his national service in the RAF as part of the ground crew at fighter command in Stanmore Park, and by the end of his two years he had become a senior aircraftsman.

In 1956 he married Elaine Mark and they moved to London to begin his career in accountancy while Elaine worked in the City. He worked for various businesses as an accountant in London, and locally, after they decided to move back to the Bournemouth and Poole area, including the Portman Building Society amongst others.

"He soon decided that his best career move was to apply for a partnership in an accountancy firm, initially Pettitt Maddox and later Thornton Baker. His career flourished with this firm which then became Grant Thornton. Les worked to establish their Poole office, his work being much appreciated by senior colleagues and staff alike. He was senior partner by the time he retired in the 1990s, having worked with many local businesses, and having made many friends along the way," said Mark.

Throughout his career Les was an active member of several clubs, including the Round Table, 41 Club and the Rotary Club, as well as Flounders, the Square Club, Natural Science Society and the Constitution Club amongst others. He had terms of office as president of some of these clubs, and he was very keen with his club colleagues on raising money for charities and local good causes, as well as loving the social aspect of club memberships.

Les was a very family oriented man, enjoying time with his wife, his sons, and later their partners and his grandchildren and great grandchildren in recent years. His interests included gardening, walking and cycling, wine and local history and enjoyed sharing these pastimes with family and friends.

He passed away peacefully at home on June 13 having battled with ill health for the last couple of years. His funeral at Bournemouth Crematorium on June 30 was very well attended by both professional and especially club colleagues.

"Many at the service remembered Les for his cheerful demeanour, his constant smile, and his infectious laugh," said Mark.

Les leaves his wife of 61 years, three sons and their families, including five grandchildren and two great grandchildren, all of whom he was very proud of.