John William Thraves (Jack) was born on 30th September 1916 in Nottingham where he lived and was educated. He started work in 1933 for Dobson’s and Browne Co. Ltd., who were lace manufacturers. He joined the TA in 1937 and was ‘called up’ into the Royal Signals on the outbreak of WW2. His war was eventful, starting with the BEF and evacuation from Dunkirk where he, despite being posted ‘missing’, led a party of men for seven miles along the beach to the harbour mole where they boarded HMS London to reach England.
He then went to North Africa and fought through the desert campaign of the 8th Army and, in 1943, landed at Salerno and proceeded with the slow and hard advance through Italy up to the river Po from where he was returned home after four and a half years service without a break. He was demobbed in 1946 having risen to Technical Quarter Master Sergeant.
In January 1946 he married Patricia and produced four children during their 45 years together. His working life continued, as a manufacturer’s agent, until he retired in 2002 aged 86. He and Pat moved to Felixstowe in 1952.
Jack was a great sportsman with cricket being his prime interest, playing regularly until 1986 and serving as President of the Suffolk Cricket Alliance between 1975 and 2004. His other interests included photography, travel, bowls, walking, gardening, Church and voluntary work. He joined Probus in 1979, was chairman in 1984 and remained a member of Felixstowe and District for the rest of his life. The members will miss him greatly.
He was a recipient of the Royal Maundy from the Queen in 2009 when Bury St. Edmunds cathedral was the venue for this annual event.
Jack was a modest and sincere man, an example of his outlook on life being that approaching the age of 100 and still driving his car, he voluntarily took an advanced motoring test to ensure that he was ‘fit for purpose’ – needless to say he was.