Just over 50 of us joined together with Beryl, Maureen, Jessica and Lewis for John’s funeral at Basingstoke Crematorium on Tuesday 9th April 2019.
The entrance music was ‘True Love’ sung by Bing Crosby. Jessica read “I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year….’ and Lewis read ‘Death is nothing at all…’ We sang The Lord’s my shepherd and Love Divine All Loves Excelling. The Bible reading was from John 14.
Maureen read the following tribute:
Firstly, I would like to thank you all for coming today dad would have been very touched to see so many family & friends here.
I want to say a few words to reflect on dads life and perhaps bring out some of the qualities that made him so widely admired and loved.
He was born at the army barracks at Windsor castle in 1928 & christened at the royal military chapel at Wellington Barracks. Edward was his first Christian name but he was always known as John.
He moved to East Stratton when he was a baby & attended east Stratton & Micheldever schools where he passed his 11 plus & then on to Peter Symonds. A letter from Sita Westgarth headmistress of East Stratton school said that he was bright, intelligent, painstakingly capable & of high moral integrity.
These standards never dropped throughout his life.
Aged 16 he started work at the Castle Winchester in the Education department where he was employed for almost 40 years he was fondly known as ‘gentleman John’ amongst his colleagues. When he was 18 the Second World War called & he followed in his father’s footsteps a Sergeant Major during the First War and completed 2 years in the Coldstream Guards. Whilst serving in the army he even managed to find time to play cricket, hardly surprising given his love of the game.
On that note, Dad devoted 50 years of his life to cricket. He joined Easton & Martyr Worthy cricket club http://www.emwcc.co.uk in 1949. Over the years he not only played for the club but carried out the duties of secretary, treasurer, grounds man, captain & umpire. He was awarded the association badge for services to local cricket in 1969. He became Vice President in 1981 and a life member in 1989. He was on the committee for the WDACC for 9 years & was a chairman and president of the umpires association. He was very proud to be awarded the Bill Cleave Award in 1993. As a player he was a great bowler taking 9 for 28 against Twyford in 1958 the year I was born & he was the first player in the clubs history to take 1000 wickets.
The biggest part of Dad’s life was spent with Mum. Sadly he died just before they could celebrate 68 years of marriage. I have always been proud of the love they had for each other never more obviously expressed than Mum’s care for him in the later years. Even though Dad was often in great pain he never once complained.Even when he was poorly he always showed a keen interest in others, a loving caring grandad to Jessica and Lewis supporting them growing up and encouraging them to become the adults they are today. Sadly, he became frail & unable to travel far from the house, but he managed to continue his ritual of a Sunday pint at the Plough with uncle Francis for as long as he was able. Some things can’t be sacrificed!
Dad always had a sharp mind & an opinion on most things in life he was a wise man who will be sadly missed.
So finally I’d like to thank him on your behalf for making our lives more fulfilled for having known & loved him.
I think if he were here now he’d say I had a jolly good innings.