A photographer, who captured the portraits of thousands of people from his studio in central Watford, will be remembered as a “beautiful man”, his wife has said.

Richard Greville spent more than 50 years working at the family shop in Queen's Road, photographing families, children and many of the town's Mayors.

However, following a battle with Alzheimer's, Mr Greville passed away at Watford General Hospital the day before his 84th birthday, on March 19.

He leaves his wife Pat, daughter Mandy, brothers Ivor and Peter, sister Jean, and two grandchildren, Adam and Emma.

Mr Greville grew up in Maidenhead but aged five, his family moved to Watford when his father Theodore Greville took over his uncle Herbert's photography studio in the town in 1930.

Aged ten, he began to help his father in the Queen's Road shop, but was called up to the Navy eight years later during World War II.

Greville's provided photographs for the Watford Observer during the conflict.

It was while he was in the Far East that he visited the Japanese city of Hiroshima, six months after it had been devastated by the atomic bomb in 1945 – a sight he found “horrifying”.

After the war, Mr Greville returned to work at the photographic studio, and took over the day to day running with his other brothers, Ivan and Peter, when their father opened another shop in Folkestone.

As time passed, Mr Greville became the studio's portrait photographer while Ivor completed commercial work, a role he would fulfil until his retirement aged 68.

Among his more famous subjects were Elton John, the Queen Mother, Jimmy Perry, and various actors starring at the Palace Theatre.

His photographs of Watford's Mayors are displayed at the Town Hall.

In 1954, Mr Greville married Pat at Watford Registry Office. The pair had first met three years earlier when Pat, then 17, had her photograph taken by Mr Greville, who was 27 at the time.

Once she was married, Mrs Greville joined the family business as a receptionist until her husband retired.

The newlyweds' first home was above the photographic studio in Queens Road, where they lived for ten years. They spent the next seven years in a cottage in Hempstead Road, two doors from The Dog pub, and moved to Rickmansworth Road in 1969.

Mrs Greville described her husband as “very, very artistic”, and “a beautiful man”.

She said: “He was just a beautiful person. Everybody loved him.

“His life was photography. He loved his work. He used to say how lucky he was that he did a job he couldn't wait to get to. Even after he retired, people rang us all the time and asked if he could take their photos.

“He was a fantastic photographer, wonderful with children. He won many prizes. He won the Kodak Child of the Year twice. He also had work displayed at the Ideal Homes Exhibition at Earls Court.”

Mr Greville's funeral will take place at West Herts Crematorium, in High Elms Lane, Garston, on April 2, at 3.20pm. All are welcome.

His family have requested any donations be sent to the Alzheimer's Society.