Ralph was born in Surrey and until the Second World War worked in telephone engineering. During the war he was seconded to the Foreign Office and was sent to Paris immediately after liberation to restore communications in the British Embassy. While he was in Paris he met the woman who became his wife, Susan Cunnington, who was serving with the WRNS. After the war they lived in Leeds, then moved to York but when he retired at the age of 55 the couple moved to West Mersea.
Ralph immediately became involved in community activities on the Island - Meals on Wheels, driving for the Friends of Mersea, serving on the committee of the Horticultural Society, becoming treasurer of the Handicapped Club, making scenery for the WI drama group, and many others.
He helped establish the Mersea Museum, holding at various times the offices of secretary, treasurer, chairman and finally president.
Most of the people living in the community benefited from the time, effort and patience he devoted to finding a way to fund the building of the doctors' surgery by the issuing of bonds and later similarly helping to raise finance for the dentists' surgery.
Ralph was closely involved in setting up the Community Bus service and when the tree outside the Post Office had to be felled he designed and made the "rotunda." He also put up and maintained the scaffolding for advertising banners across the Strood.
When he died in October 1990, aged 70, Mersea Town Mayor, Mr John Jowers, was one of many islanders who paid tribute to him saying "If there was a job to be done, Ralph just rolled up his sleeves and got on with it. His death is a great loss to Mersea's community."
Susan Annette Luckham