John Jones (1924-2002)
John was born in Chipperfield, the fifth of six children in 1924 and lived most of his life in this area. As a boy he attended Chipperfield School and was a choirboy at the Parish Church. In 1942 he joined the Navy, serving on MTB’s (Motor Torpedo Boats) in the English Channel and then in the Adriatic. He was later based in Malta as Coxswain of the Base and then was involved at the end of the war with selling off the MTB’s.
When he returned home he joined a government training course and became a carpenter. He loved wood and worked with it throughout his life becoming highly skilled in its use and, eventually, because he was a perfectionist, working as a model and pattern maker for DeHavilland and Rolls Royce, where he was required to produce life-sized models in wood of highly technical pieces of equipment.
During his time in the services John trained as a Physical Training Instructor and was persuaded by the then vicar to take on the Chipperfield Boys Club, which he then ran (with help from his brother, Robert) for about 20 years. John specialised in club swinging and that became an important part of the ethos of the club, particularly the annual display including human pyramids and all the boys swinging their fluorescent clubs in the dark while the UV lamps shone.
When he retired, he became what he described as a “domestic engineer”, running the home and garden whilst Sheila worked. He had always loved the world about him and was incredibly knowledgeable about trees, birds, wild flowers and different sorts of grasses. Retirement gave him more time for his garden and he always kept a well-stocked vegetable patch.
He has been described as a reserved and modest person with a dry sense of humour. A compassionate and caring man who was always there for people in his own unassuming way, and totally devoted to his family. Many people had cause to hold him in the highest regard.