A WAR veteran who taught sea cadets for six decades has died, aged 92.

Cecil "Tug" Wilson who died of a heart attack on January 30 joined the Royal Navy when he was 17, and served on Motor Torpedo Boats, protecting the English coast from the threat of Nazi invaders.

Following Mr Wilson's experiences during the Second World War, he went on to become an instructor at York Sea Cadets, where he spent 60 years teaching youngsters naval techniques at their Skeldergate base.

When he was not working with children, the father-of-three could be found at The Press' Coney Street offices, where he spent 43 years as a printer, rising to the post of deputy overseer before retiring in 1988.

His wife Nancy, 87, of School Lane, Fulford, said: "I was very proud of him and privileged to be his wife.

"He was a real gentleman and never complained about anything.

"He took life as it came and we were very happily married and content with life.

"I will always remember him because he was a beautiful person."

Mr Wilson received an MBE from the Queen in 2004 for his tireless work with the city's cadets, and the family travelled to London to see him receive the gong.

He was also honoured by Childline in 2002 and the Lord Lieutenant of York the following year.

Mrs Wilson added: "Everybody loved him at Sea Cadets.

"He worked his way up from being a Petty Officer to 1st Lieutenant.

"He loved children and even before he joined the Sea Cadets he organised Christmas parties for St Stephens Orphanage."

The couple were married for 68 years and Mr Wilson is also survived by his sister, Hazel, and children Marilyn, 60, Kevin, 63, and Wendy, 67.

They were also grandparents and great-grandparents many times over.

Marilyn, from Askham Bryan, added: "He will be sorely missed by everyone.

"He touched a lot of lives."

Mr Wilson's funeral will take place at St Oswald's Church, Fulford, from 2.15pm on February 13.