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Tributes pour in for 'charming’ Argus snapper Jerry Casswell
Family, friends and former colleagues have paid tribute to an award-winning Argus photographer remembered for his love of life.
Courtney Gerald Casswell, known professionally as Jerry Casswell, was a long-serving and talented photographer who specialised in getting a different angle on the biggest stories.
Tributes poured in for Mr Casswell, who died on Monday at the age of 88, remembering him as a charming, charismatic and fun-loving character.
He served as an aerial photographer during the Second World War before working on Cunard Cruise Lines during the 1950s photographing Hollywood and music stars such as Bing Crosby and the Rat Pack, as well as royalty including the Queen Mother who he befriended.
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He then worked for Meridian Airmaps at Shoreham Airport before joining The Argus in the mid-Sixties.
Highlights of his distinguished career at the paper included sneaking into the weighing room at Plumpton Racecourse to photograph Prince Charles following his debut race in 1980 and a picture of the Pope as he stood with schoolchildren at Gatwick Airport in 1982.
Colleagues also remembered him photographing the scene of a gangland shooting of a woman at the Black Lion in Patcham in 1976 as he arrived almost before the police, he also took iconic images of the Grand Hotel bombing and of a pilot ejecting just before his Red Arrow plane crashed into the sea.
Following his retirement in 1990, he was a popular figure at Shoreham Airport where he pursued his passion for flight.
He lived at Shoreham Beach for most of his career,moving to Hove later in life.
Niece Amanda House said: “He was a very kind man, there wasn’t a bad bone in his body.
“When we were kids he was much wilder than my father.
“He was always joking even in the hospital before he went into the nursing home. All the nurses loved him.”
Carol Dodgson, who was part of The Argus reporting and editorial staff from 1968 to 1992, said: “He was a great character, always great fun to be with.”
Former Argus chief photographer Tony Laycock remembered Mr Casswell tracking down a plane spotter who had footage of a plane crash that claimed the life of former MP Keith Wickenden in 1983.
He said: “Always 100 per cent professional Jerry was most at home in the midst of a fast breaking, hard news story.”
Former Argus photographer Tony Tree said: “He was the best news photographer The Argus ever had.”
A funeral will be held at Tribe’s Chapel in Broadwater Road, Worthing, at noon on February 4.
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