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John Charles Fenn

Also known as: Nobby, or sometimes Jack.

Picture of John Charles Fenn.

John, (or Jack to a few, but "Nob" to practically everybody), was born in 1925 in Hackney in the East End of London.

The family were very much working class and when his Mother died, when he was just six years old, his father struggled to look after both Nobby and his younger brother, Charlie, so he was sent to live with various relatives. He even spent some time living rough on the streets of London.

His salvation, of sorts, arrived with the Second World War.
Keen not to be called up for service in the Army, he lied to the authorities about his age and signed up for the relative safety of the Royal Navy. He was accompanied by his old pal, and future brother-in-law, George Hurley.
Unfortunately, his attempts to avoid the German bullets rather back-fired, as he was assigned to serve on mine-sweepers.
During his time at sea, while trying to protect the British Fleet, his own ships were blown up from under him on several occasions.
Naturally Nob survived all these dramas, but the final episode left him afloat and unconscious in the English Channel for 17 hours before being rescued.

In 1944 he married Rose Tremain and after the War they settled down in Clapton and raised their family. Christine was born in 1947 and John arrived unexpectedly in 1951.

All his working life was spent in or around the timber trade. In the early years he was a lorry driver, delivering raw timber, then kitchen cabinets. He later became a travelling salesman for these cabinets and ultimately a buyer for a distributor of DIY goods.

He was keen on cars and driving, a passion passed down through his children, including his Son-in-Law Roger, to his greatly cherished grandson, Russell.
He also loved the sea and boats, a little surprisingly perhaps, given his war experiences, and the family enjoyed many happy weekends messing about in Nob's little boat down at Stone.

Nob was a good husband and a fine father.
He was often thought to be stern, even a bit tyrannical, and there were times when his children would undoubtedly agree. The truth is that he was in fact a very private man but also an extremely generous one, always sympathetic to friends or relatives in time of need.

Just weeks before he was due to retire in 1990, he had his first and major heart-attack.
He was very fortunate to survive this and sure enough, having recovered, he and Rose took the bold step of leaving London, moving into sheltered accommodation in Ystrad Mynach, their son John and Daughter-in-law Jenny having moved to Caerphilly ten years earlier.

Living in South Wales doubtless came as a bit of a culture shock after the hurley-burley of London, but the family were satisfied that they had done the right thing. In the years that followed, Nob's health sadly deteriorated. He developed Polymyalgia and Emphysema and suffered a second heart-attack and two strokes. Each episode left him substantially weaker, but more determined to continue caring for his beloved Rose as she declined into dementia.

As time passed, he stubbornly refused help in this labour of love and it inevitably took its toll on his own health. He was wearing himself out and finally succumbed to pneumonia on the 3rd of July.

His strong personality left its mark on all who met him even briefly and he will be sorely missed by those who knew him well.

Added by: John Fenn on 4 August 2008.

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Picture of John Charles Fenn.
Picture of John Charles Fenn.
Picture of John Charles Fenn.

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