Bossence, Louis Ralph (‘Bud’) (1915–71), journalist, was born 6 February 1915 in Belfast, only son of Stephen Bossence, shipyard worker and motor manufacturer employee, and Annie Bossence (née Frost). He emigrated to America in the early 1920s when his father went to work for the Ford Motor Company in Detroit, Michigan, and was educated in Detroit Central High School. Returning to Belfast in the early 1930s, he worked briefly as a shop assistant before securing a position as a junior reporter with the Northern Whig in 1935. In 1947 he joined the Belfast News Letter, where he worked as a political reporter contributing, among other things, a witty column on events at the NI parliament at Stormont. However, it was his ‘As I see it’ column, written in a wry, philosophical style, that brought him widespread popularity from its inception in 1964. He wrote on his everyday experiences, including his passion for dogs, especially poodles, and his distrust of mechanisation. He also wrote leader articles for the newspaper and used his extensive record collection to contribute a weekly jazz column. An ardent trade unionist, he was secretary of the Belfast branch of the National Union of Journalists and was, for a time, chairman of the press gallery at Stormont, as well as a member of the Northern Ireland Labour Party.
An instantly recognisable and well known figure in Belfast, he held court on an almost daily basis in the Duke of York pub, where he was a renowned raconteur employing a caustic wit. His ever-expanding portly frame did not suffocate an enthusiasm for tennis and walking, and on one celebrated occasion he combined with David Kennedy, journalist, to walk from Dunmurry near Belfast to Lurgan in Co. Armagh, a journey of almost 30 miles (48 km), stopping at every public house en route for a drink. He did not marry and lived for many years in Melrose St., Lisburn Rd, Belfast before dying on 3 November 1971. He left money in his will for an unpublicised wake that filled the Duke of York, where a stained-glass window (later destroyed in a bomb blast) was installed in his memory. A collection of his articles, As he saw it, was published posthumously in 1971.