Tributes have been paid following the death of a Litlington postmaster who was a 'pillar of the community'.

Kumar Balani, who was subpostmaster and shopkeeper at Litlington Post Office stores for 31 years, died on August 6 at the age of 76.

Alongside his wife, Jay, he ensured that the small village would retain a shop and Post Office while other rural businesses were closing.

His children Radha and Sita said: "He was well loved locally for his cheeky sense of humour, generosity and kindness."

Kumar was born in Karachi in 1946, and spent his early years in India as one of 17 children.

He later joined the Merchant Navy and worked as a purser (the person responsible for the handling of money) on passenger ships, meeting his wife in 1969 on a crossing from Mumbai to Mombasa.

Kumar moved to the UK in 1975, and settled in Litlington 15 years later.

After running the shop for 31 years, Kumar and Jay retired in 2019. In his retirement, Kumar devoted himself to research and writing, spending hours in the British Library and National Archives.

Kumar was working on a manuscript, which Radha and Sita intend to complete and publish.

The Balani family said: "We would like to thank the local community for their support, sympathy and for sharing their happy memories of Kumar.

"As Kumar was a patient at Papworth Hospital for many years, the family asks that any donations be made to the Royal Papworth Charity in his name."


More than £1,700 has already been donated in Kumar's name on his Royal Papworth Charity memory wall.

His family said: "Kumar spoke very highly of the healthcare staff at Papworth, of their kindness, humour, patience and expertise.

"His double heart bypass in 2008 gave him the chance to live for many more years and make many more jokes.

"We are so grateful to the researchers, nurses, healthcare assistants, porters, doctors, cleaners and so many others who contribute to this life-saving work.

"We owe those years with Dad to you."

To donate to the charity in Kumar's memory go to