Reg Hann
Reg Hann, two days before his 100th birthday. Photo taken on 7 February 2024 Credit: Cwmbran Life

The man whose work led to Cwmbran Boating Lake being built has passed away- two months after he turned 100.

Reg Hann’s family told Cwmbran Life that he was taken to the Grange University Hospital with a chest infection earlier this month. After 12 days of treatment, he passed away from pneumonia on the afternoon of Saturday 20 April 2024.

Warrant Officer Rob Govier and Commanding Officer Carolyn Jones, both from HMS Cambria, with Reg Hann
Warrant Officer Rob Govier and Commanding Officer Carolyn Jones, both from HMS Cambria, with Reg Hann (Photo: Cwmbran Life)

He celebrated his 100th birthday on 9 February 2024. During the Second World War, he took part in D-Day and helped to liberate France through his service with the Royal Navy.

Two days before he turned 100 he was presented with a personal letter from The First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sir Ben Key.

a letter to Reg Hann from the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sir Ben Key
The First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sir Ben Key’s letter to Reg Hann Credit: Cwmbran Life

In 1950 he started a career as Cwmbran New Town’s civil engineer and surveyor, and this is where his ideas for features such as Cwmbran Boating Lake were developed.

After WWII, Reg resumed his service in the Royal Naval Reserves and was Captain and Commanding Officer of HMS Cambria.

Tributes to Reg Hann

Katherine Hann, one of Reg’s four children, said:  “Dad mellowed with age and loved having members of his family around him. He welcomed everyone into his home, which was where the family grew up for over 60 years.  Fabulous carers kept him comfortable and happy there. I have had so many messages saying what a kind man, a real gentleman Reg was. We were lucky to have him as our dad.”

Lord Murphy of Torfaen said: “Reg Hann was a wonderful public servant who devoted most of his life to Cwmbran. A veteran of the Second World War, he was an outstanding local government officer who helped to make the town as it grew up. I have very fond memories of Reg, who I had known for fifty years. He lived to a great age and will be sadly missed.”

lord murphy, reg hann at nick thomas-symonds at Reg's 100th party
Lord Murphy and Nick Thomas-Symonds at Reg’s 100th birthday party

Nick Thomas-Symonds, MP for Torfaen, said: “Reg Hann’s remarkable life was defined by service to others. From his time in the Royal Navy in the Second World War to his seminal role in the development of modern-day Cwmbrân, Reg enhanced the lives of others. 

“I was privileged, along with Lord Murphy, to attend Reg’s 100th birthday celebrations in February at the Cwmbran Community Council Offices with so many others, family and friends, whose lives he had touched. 

“Reg will be long-remembered in Torfaen; not only will memories of him be treasured by local people across the generations, the Cwmbran Boating Lake – an idea of his that he based on Roath Park Lake in Cardiff – will stand as his lasting legacy. Whenever I walk around the lake, I will spare a moment to think of Reg.”

Cllr Anthony Hunt, the leader of Torfaen Council, said: “At the weekend we heard the sad news of the passing of Reg Hann at the grand old age of 100. Captain Hann of the Royal Navy was a veteran of the D-Day landings who became the pioneer behind the development and life of the new town and the mastermind behind the creation of the popular boating lake and recreation spaces that run along the river through Cwmbran.

“The whole council will want to pass on our respect and condolences to Reg’s family and friends. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the town Reg shaped, and we’ll be considering a fitting tribute with Cwmbran Community Council.”

Cllr Leanne Lloyd-Tolman, chair Cwmbran Community Council, said: “‘Reg Hann was truly an inspirational man. He led a life filled with adventure, dedication and duty, worthy of a Hollywood movie.

“He was a pioneer of Cwmbran, whose vision is imprinted into the very fabric of the town.

“He will be sorely missed but his legacy will live on to serve generations to come.”

Kathleen Hann, Reg’s wife, passed away in 2002 and there’s a bench at the boating lake with a plaque dedicated to her. The couple had four children, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Watch Reg talk about Cwmbran Boating Lake- two days before he turned 100

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