Mayor of Marlborough Edwina Fogg led a party of town councillors and town council staff at the funeral on Friday of town clerk Derek Wolfe, who died suddenly on September 24.

The funeral of Mr Wolfe, 58, was held in his home town of Axminster in Devon where mourners were led by his widow, Lynette, and two children.

Mr Wolfe, who became acting town clerk in December, following the departure of his predecessor Liam Costello who returned to Northamptonshire to work, was appointed as new town clerk in January and he commuted weekly from his Devon home to Marlborough.

He had just arrived at his rented apartment in Kennet Place after his journey from Devon on the morning of September 24 when he felt ill and called for an ambulance.

He died later the same day at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital from an aneurysm.

The town flag flew at half mast over the town hall until the funeral on Friday.

Coun Mrs Fogg paid tribute to his dedication when she spoke at his funeral saying: “Derek’s death has left us all in shock, hardly able to comprehend his sudden absence from us.

“I should like to dwell on two aspects of Derek that Lynette shared with me.

“First, his professionalism: He would have hated the idea that he left any unfinished business on his desk, she said.

“It was a poignant moment for me when I entered his empty office and saw his tidy and well-ordered papers: there was a sad silence in that room that spoke of our loss.

“His approach to his multi-faceted tasks was organised, thorough and cheerful.

“The second thing that Lynette pointed out was his love of Marlborough: ‘He absolutely loved the town and his home here’, she told me.

Coun Mrs Fogg said Mr Wolfe joined in and supported several initiatives in the community, for example becoming a director of the new community market and an active member of Transition Marlborough.

The mayor said: “Townsfolk had a great respect for his willingness to help them with their various requests and inquiries: that feeling on their part was expressed in the many messages of condolence we received on his loss.

“Our office staff remarked on his almost old fashioned gentlemanly manner and observed that he never had a bad word to say about anyone.”