Remembering smiling Jack
HIS cheery smile brought joy to all those who knew him.Tributes have been paid to Second World War veteran Jack Thompson, one of Suffolk's real characters has died aged 81 years.
HIS cheery smile brought joy to all those who knew him.
Tributes have been paid to Second World War veteran Jack Thompson, one of Suffolk's real characters has died aged 81 years.
The larger than life personality was a former maintenance engineer at the East Anglian Daily Times offices.
He died of bronchial pneumonia in Howard Court Nursing Home on Burlington Road on November 18.
His cousin Peter Thompson, 69, described him as a popular figure who always had an amusing tale to tell.
He said: "He was well known in the town who was always up for a laugh and will be sorely missed.
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"He was a gentle giant who loved wildlife, which he was an expert about.
"He was also never seen without his flat cap, which he shall have buried with him."
Mr Thompson was born in Parade Road, Ipswich, where he lived for most of his life.
He became a member of the TA in 1938 and joined the bomb disposal unit at the outbreak of the war. He transferred to the Palestinian Police force where he stayed until 1948.
After his spell in the services he went back to work at W S Cowell printers of Ipswich before transferring to the old EADT offices in Carr Street in 1951 where he stayed until he retired.
Mr Peter Thompson said: "He was always pictured in the papers doing something unusual. He held a giant prize pumpkin and during the hot summer of 1971 he was pictured in khaki shorts. There is also a picture of him on one of the loos."
His hobbies included racing pigeons, game-keeping, ferreting and he kept an allotment in Sidegate Lane.
He was also a member of the Palestine Police Association and a British Legion Member for 50 years.
In 1998 he returned to the Middle East where he worked as a policeman and prison officer for five years before the state of Israel was created. He and more than 60 ex-colleagues from all over the world travelled to Israel to be part of the country's 50th anniversary.
Former colleague Graham Cook, said: "He was the salt of the earth. There would never be a more down to earth person. He was one of the characters who we still fondly talk about today."
All those who knew him are invited to his funeral on Friday at 2.30 pm at the North Chapel Crematorium attended by the Guard of Honour from the Royal British Legion.
They ask for donations to Howard Court instead of flowers.