We are writing this as we say goodbye to a fellow colleague and friend, David Milchard. Grimble as he was most commonly known within the office was employed by Fraser and Fraser on March 3, 1980 and was employee number seven. David went on to serve our firm for 33 years’ and was a great asset to the Fraser and Fraser legacy.
Having started his career as a Probate Researcher at Hoopers, David joined Fraser and Fraser as a Case Manager, and worked at the firm until his retirement in March 2012, just after his 65th birthday. David was well known in the industry of Probate Research and was highly knowledgeable in the work he produced. He was passionate about family history, even tracing his own family back numerous generations, discovering that most of his ancestors were Lightermen; a trade he was most fond of.
Technological advancements were quickly evolving, and the firm’s need to embrace technology was fast approaching. David played a crucial role in moving Fraser and Fraser to computerised Family Tree programmes.
Alan Riches, who joined Fraser and Fraser in 1983 was taken under David’s wing, and learnt a large part of the job from David himself. Working with him daily, Alan has fond memories, specifically of his need to drink several cups of tea a day! Alan would see David sitting in Wrights Café drinking numerous cups of tea; this café would also be the place where he met his wife, Liliana.
David was dedicated to his work, he would work tirelessly to trace missing beneficiaries and build family trees. One of his most interesting cases (which made industry news headlines) was one which allowed him to excavate the shady past of one family. David was able to uncover an alias for the deceased’s father, George Maynard whose alias was Atillo Messina, an Italian crime boss who ran the sex trade in London’s Soho in the 1940s and 1950s. Not only was David able to discover the truth, through his efforts, he was able to build a far larger family tree than the heirs had known, and they were shocked to discover a whole new line of family members.
David was most excited for the cameras to start rolling in the office, as BBC One’s ‘Heir Hunters’ filming began in 2005. He would be lights, camera, action – ready! And dedicated to showcasing all that goes into locating missing heirs and the thrill of cracking almost impossible cases. David was one of the first members of staff to be filmed and was a professional in front of the camera.
Bob Smith, joined Fraser and Fraser in 1985 and recalls David as a down-to-earth, East-End boy, who was great at his job and highly respected across the industry. He was pleased to know he managed to have a few stress-free years of retirement and able to enjoy the time he had with his family.
We will forever be grateful for David’s contributions to our company; he was well-known in the industry and will never be forgotten. During these difficult times, our deepest sympathies are with David’s loved ones.
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