Long-lost nephew pays tribute to reclusive Stevenage man who died alone

Desmond Bingham with his family.

Desmond Bingham with his family. - Credit: Archant

A 93-year-old man who died in his Stevenage home and lay undiscovered for at least three weeks was a real character with a wicked sense of humour, says his only nephew.

Michael Bingham contacted the Comet from Australia after reading our report of the inquest into his uncle’s death – which resulted in charities and carers coming forward to urge others to look out for elderly people.

Desmond Bingham, of Hazelmere Road, was found dead by police in November last year after neighbours reported they had not seen him for about five weeks.

Michael said: “We last saw Des the month we migrated and he wished us all the luck in our new life – but that was more than 10 years ago.

“After that we maintained postal contact and he even wrote emails, but very infrequently.

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“Des was a character who had a wicked sense of humour, mainly from his military days during the war.

“After that he joined International Computers Limited – he was a computer genius.

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“He travelled the world on their behalf and worked in some exotic locations including New York, Barbados, Sydney and Buenos Aires.

“When he retired he became a volunteer in Stevenage where he lived for more than 40 years.

“He was keen on amateur radio but never did any of us children or adults get invited into his radio shack – it was his sanctuary and he would be in there for hours at a time.

“He was a 90 word-a-minute shorthand clerk and could send Morse code at that speed around the world.”

Michael said blaming the neighbours for not keeping an eye on Desmond would be unfair as “his movements were very sparse at the best of times”.

“Des was a loner, he chose his lifestyle and woe betide anyone who questioned his choice,” said the 53-year-old.

Michael was the only mourner at the chapel when his uncle was cremated.

He added: “Des had a good life and I believe he lived it to the full without want of company. His death is a big loss to the Bingham family.”

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