A HEARTBROKEN family has paid tribute to a renowned antiquarian who died following a crash on the A120

David Edmunds, 82, from Wrabness, had pulled out of Primrose Lane onto the A120 whilst on his way to Colchester in February last year.

An inquest held in Chelmsford last Wednesday heard Mr Edmunds’s Volvo was then involved in a collision with an oncoming Ford Transit.

Area coroner Sonia Hayes concluded Mr Edmunds’s death was the result of injuries sustained in a car accident.

On the day he died, he was on the way to deliver a rare book to the USA and viewing an auction to search for rare books.

Mr Edmunds’ early days were spent in the east of England, having been born in Scole, Norfolk, and raised in Birdbrook, near the Essex border with Cambridgeshire.

It was there, and during his younger years, that Mr Edmunds unwittingly honed skills which would surely have built the foundation for his future career in bookkeeping and antique collecting.

Helpfully, the rectory in which he was raised was next to the ruins of a Roman villa.

Along with his brother, Mr Edmunds spent hours outside, digging and finding hundreds of coins and other artefacts.

The academic achievements Mr Edmunds enjoyed were also considerable: he boarded at St John’s School, Leatherhead, before spending a year working in a Kenyan School during his year of national service.

Studies at Jesus College Cambridge and Liverpool then followed, before Mr Edmunds set up his own business, John Drury Rare Books.

His expertise was not confined purely to academia – Mr Edmunds regularly worked as a consultant for Rothschilds, the Bank of England, and Amex.

Unsurprisingly, Mr Edmunds thrived as he pursued his passion, though his interests were not only confined to his area of work.

Throughout the 1990 and 2000s, Mr Edmunds held positions as the director of Colchester and North East Essex Building Preservation Trust, and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

It was during his role at the CPRE Mr Edmunds attended garden parties at Buckingham Palace; as a keen gardener, he took it as his duty to inform the then Prince Charles there was Japanese knotweed in the garden, and one assumes this observation was taken in good faith.

If he wasn’t working or gardening, Mr Edmunds was spending time with his wife, Jenny, or his children and grandchildren.

Croquet, chess, and bridge were his games of choice, and he never went easy on his opposition – even when playing against his younger relatives.

If beaten by an opponent, it was always an achievement, and Mr Edmunds was bound to be as proud of the victor as they were of themselves.

After Mr Edmunds’ death in a car crash on the A120 in February last year, from all those who knew him – but there were also widespread tributes.

One colleague described him as “a giant in the field of numismatic literature.”

His daughter, Hannah said her father: “His death was a miserable accident and, because it wasn’t as if he was a doddering 80-year-old.

“He was still working, and in our opinion, still had a very long time left to go – he was just a working person.”

The area coroner said in her closing statement: “I’ve got a snapshot of him as a person – he seems to have had a very rich life, loving family, and was a very interesting man.

“My sincere condolences to the family.”