The RNLI saves lives at sea.

Terry Pembroke

Picture of Terry Pembroke.

Terry was a hard working man who simply lived for his home and his family. His untimely death came as a great shock.

Terence Brian Pembroke was born in Beckenham on 11th October 1948, the third of five children. He was rarely called Terence and would joke about how could someone look into a pram and decide that Terence was a suitable name for a baby. He was known as Terry, Tel, Hub, Dad, Fafa, Terby, Nibs, Mr. P, the old git and probably a few more other names that couldn’t be repeated.

Terry grew up and lived his early years in Crystal Palace. He enjoyed a carefree childhood when he was away from the home, roaming the streets and woods in the area. His happiest memories of childhood were the holidays spent on the Isle of Sheppey and visits to his Granny’s house playing cowboys and Indians in the cornfields.

School days for Terry were not particularly happy and he left as soon as he could.

After leaving school Terry was taken on as an apprentice carpenter and one of his biggest regrets was that he didn’t stick with it. He felt that with paternal advice and guidance he could have been made to see it through and enjoy a career and hobby in something that he loved.

After spending time working in stores he joined the Royal Navy in 1966. He became a Leading Marine Electrical Engineer and was posted to six different ships throughout his career. The ships he spoke of most fondly were HMS Eagle and HMS Lynx. He travelled and got to see much of the world and Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Africa were among the most memorable places he visited. It was during this time that he learnt to love and respect the sea.
Terry had many adventures and got up to all sorts of antics. He took part in the withdrawal from Aden and at any opportunity would talk about his experiences at sea.

In 1972 Terry reluctantly bought himself out of the Navy. He eventually found permanent work as a telecoms engineer with BT. It was on a blind date that was set up by work colleagues in November 1977 that Terry met his wife to be Jill. She wasn’t impressed at first and said she didn’t want to go out with someone who looked like a frog. However he was very persistent and following a whirlwind romance they got engaged on St Valentine’s Day and married just ten months after they met on 30th September 1978.

The couple moved to their first home in Gillingham the following year and in April 1981 added to their happiness when Clare was born and two years later with the birth of Stephen in May 1983. Terry tried to be the dad that he had always wished he’d had himself.

Shortly after moving to Gillingham Terry started working for British Rail as a telecoms engineer. He had good memories of working at London’s Victoria station.

Terry was a devoted family man, he hated having to work long hours but he did, because it meant he could provide for them. Nothing was more important to him than his family.

He was an affectionate dad who encouraged his children with their goals and supported them in their choices. He wasn’t a strict dad but his children knew their boundaries. Clare and Steve have fond memories of camping holidays as they were growing up and of all the good times spent at their caravan in Deal, a place they loved and where a memorial bench for Terry will be placed. Steve enjoyed a good debate with his dad where they attempted to put the world to rights and had many things in common including winding Jill up.

His proudest moments were being at the birth of Clare and Stephen. He was immensely proud watching them grow up and of all they have achieved. Photos show the pride he felt on both of their graduations. He welcomed both David and Paul into the family and was looking forward to becoming a father in law to them both. He was also looking forward to being father of the bride at Clare’s wedding.

Terry had loads of hobbies but never really stuck with any of them – he had a short attention span and got bored easily. That was until he was forced into early retirement at age fifty-six and discovered his talent for cooking. He had always enjoyed his food and drink and now he had the time to learn how to make all his favourite dishes and many others besides. His paella and home baked bread were legendary. Some of his home brews however were an acquired taste.

Terry wasn’t materialistic and never asked for much out of life. Watching the cricket with a cup of tea in one hand and Suduko puzzle in the other and he was happy. Long walks and enjoying the countryside and holidays were Terry's way of relaxing and letting go. He also loved his football and cricket – not playing of course that was far too energetic for him and he loved nothing more than a good old moan about how badly his teams had played.

He was at his happiest when sitting at the dinner table with the family having a good home cooked meal with plenty of wine followed by his homebrewed liqueurs. He would always be the one to start with the toilet humour jokes and dirty stories, never more so than at Christmas which was a special time for him.

Terry will be remembered for his sense of humour and fun. Although Terry was a joker he was easy to wind up – in some ways he was quite naive. He never could quite remember the punch line to a joke and was often the brunt of family jokes, which, he took squarely on the chin.
Despite his jovial exterior deep down Terry was really quite introvert and shied away from unfamiliar situations. He wasn’t very confident in himself and genuinely thought that people didn’t like him. He would have been amazed at how many people were at his funeral.

People, who knew him well and took the time to get to know him count themselves as lucky and privileged to have known him. He could be a grumpy old man and was quite forceful with his opinions, but when he smiled at you, his whole face would light up and radiate with sincerity and warmth, just like the rest of him.

His laughter and smiling face was genuine – what you saw is what you got with Terry. If he could help out in any way then he would often putting himself out and under enormous stress. He had high expectations of himself and others and often felt let down when these expectations were not met.

Terry and Jill had so many plans for their retirement that he had worked so hard all his life for and she feels saddened and cheated that these will not be realised; the holidays, a move of house with a larger garden where Terry could grow his own vegetables, seeing Clare and Stephen settled and spending some well deserved time together.
It seems incomprehensible and unfair that a fairly fit, healthy, and active man such as Terry was, should go into hospital and survive a brain tumour only to be cut down by infection.

Terry will be remembered and missed for:

His tea drinking, burnt barbecued sausages, his tuneless whistling, love of his family, his eagerness to please and help out, his rude jokes, his loud singing of songs - always with the wrong words, his big bear hugs, his bluntness, his wicked sense of humour, his DIY disasters and the swearing that followed, his smile and of course he will be remembered and missed for simply being Terry.

Terry and Jill was a devoted couple who raised their children; Clare and Steve and have a family to be proud of. They had their marriage blessed in June 1994 to renew their vows and have the special wedding day they had always wanted.

Terry and Jill happily made their lives together and for her another thirty-two years wouldn’t be too many to spend with this funny, honest and selfless man.

Terry died on 16th July 2010 at Kings College Hospital, London, aged 61.

He will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Added by: Jill Pembroke on 25 October 2010.

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Picture of Terry Pembroke.
Picture of Terry Pembroke.

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