THE family of an ex-patriot granted his last wish by bringing his ashes back to the region he loved and grew up in as a youngster.

Derek Dunn Wilson was brought up by his parents, Arthur and Doris Wilson, in the villages of Etherley and Witton Park, both near Bishop Auckland.

Mr Wilson emigrated to New Zealand in 1948 to work as a geologist in Otago.

While working there, he met and married Helen Sheddan Taylor.

During the 1950s, Mr Wilson worked with his father-in-law on a sheep farm before becoming a successful farmer himself.

He ran his farm until 1969, before returning to work as a geologist in Christchurch, New Zealand, until his retirement.

In 2000, Mr Wilson was diagnosed with bowel cancer and seemed to make a good recovery, but in April this year he died from a brain tumour.

He leaves his wife, a son John, who lives in Canada, another son, Peter, who lives in Germany, and daughters Penny Martin and Marylou Hoskins, who live in New Zealand. He also leaves ten grandchildren.

While Mr Wilson treasured his family and friends in his adopted country, he maintained his love of his homeland, in particular English gardens and literature.

Mr Wilson's family held a funeral in Christchurch, but fulfilled his dream of a return to his homeland by visiting St Cuthbert's Church, High Etherley, for a service and to scatter his ashes in the village churchyard.