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Jim Pritchard 1922 – 2008

2nd of December 2008

James Francis Pritchard – known to all as Jim – was born on 1 November 1922 at Tuffs Farm Chipperfield, where he lived all his life.
He was the middle child of three born to Edith & Frank Pritchard. His older sister Mary also lived in Chipperfield for all but her last few months. His younger brother George was killed in Germany in 1945 aged just 18 years old. Jim never forgot George.
Jim attended Chipperfield School and liked nothing more than tending his school allotment and learning how to grow vegetables and flowers. An enthusiasm which lasted a lifetime, even winning prizes at the recent Autumn Show of the Chipperfield Horticultural Society. He loved to grow things and visitors to the Farm often left with beaming smiles and armfuls of vegetables and flowers.
His love of gardening continued throughout his life and he spent many happy hours sitting in the summer house he built in the lovely garden he created. His garden was full of his creations from garden seats made from tree trunks to tables and ornaments made from recycled scrap. He hated wasting anything.
Jim was a choirboy at St. Pauls Church, Chipperfield. He was not perhaps a model choir boy, part of his duties involved pumping air to keep the organ playing and he and his friend found it highly amusing to see how low they could let the pressure fall before having to pump like crazy to restore normal organ speed. Two and sometimes three (compulsory) trips to Church each Sunday ensured a wide knowledge of the scriptures.
The war years were spent tending the farm and serving in the Home Guard. It was at this time that Jim met a Kings Langley girl called Daphne who he went on to marry on 20th October 1951. A marriage which lasted a few weeks short of 57 years. Marriage was followed by the birth of Roger and Marian and subsequently by three grandchildren Tracey, Rebecca & Julia.
Throughout their life together Jim and Daphne participated in village life. Jim was a founder member of the Horticultural Society and supported many organisations by actions such as providing vehicles for the WI to decorate as floats and filling the Church with vegetables and sheaths of corn for Harvest Festival. He was a generous patron to many organisations and always gave more than was asked.
As a life long farmer Jim made the transition from ploughing the fields with a pair of horses in the early days to using modern equipment. He never wore a watch yet always knew the time using the position of the sun and the passing of the local bus as his indicators. He was always more comfortable outside than indoors although he was renowned for his raging log fires on a winters evening.
Jim officially “retired” when he was 67 although the reality of retirement was that he worked all week but weekend working was restricted to haymaking season and other peak times.
Perhaps Jim is best remembered as a true countryman, for his wide knowledge of many subjects especially nature and the countryside and his seemingly endless collection of stories and anecdotes.
Marian Swallow

“Chipperfield Men in
the Great War”
Who were these men of Chipperfield who played such a vital part in the Great War? To find out as much as possible about their lives census records, old parish magazines, old newspapers, military, naval and other war records have been searched. Fortunately, there are some village people who have been able to provide memories and photographs which have enhanced these records. All the information collected to date has been set out, with the kind help of Sally Main, in a 52 page A4 booklet that was produced to support John Uffs dramatic chronicle which aimed to re-enact the part that Chipperfield village played in the Great War.
Copies of the book are available by phoning 01923 269480. Collected copies cost £5 and those posted cost £6. Proceeds after deduction of expenses will be donated to the Royal British Legion Poppy Fund.
We should be pleased to hear from anyone who has further information or photographs, which we could include in a second edition. Amendments to the existing text would also be appreciated.
Andrew and Mary Nobbs 01923 269480

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