A true gentleman who never forgot his fallen comrades

Jack Dobbs at the Alnwick Remembrance parade earlier this month. Picture by Jane Coltman
Jack Dobbs at the Alnwick Remembrance parade earlier this month. Picture by Jane Coltman

A wartime veteran, who never missed a Remembrance parade, has died.

Jack Dobbs, 99, died peacefully in his sleep at Abbeyfield Care Home, Alnwick, on Monday.

A much-loved father to Linda and John, and beloved husband of the late Peggy, many remember him for being courteous, polite, kind and generous with people and for his immaculate turn-out whenever he went along the street in his suit with a tie and highly-polished shoes.

In May this year, Jack received the Légion d’Honneur medal, making him a Chevalier of France in gratitude for his service in the liberation of France during the Second World War, where he served with the Durham Light Infantry.

He was promoted to sergeant in the field and received medals for his bravery in action. After landing in France, he fought with his regiment through Belgium and Holland and on to Berlin.

In 2009, he went to the Thiepval memorial for the Battle of the Somme and attended the commemoration of the end of the First World War where he represented the Durham Light Infantry veterans, met the French Ambassador and was thrilled to meet and chat with Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

After a great deal of persuasion, Jack wrote his memoirs and recorded information for the Imperial War Museum. He always felt that he was just an ordinary man carrying out his duty for king and country.

In the last 70 years, Jack had never missed a Remembrance Parade. He considered it his duty to remember those colleagues who did not make it home and who gave their lives to preserve freedom.

Despite being ill, Jack was determined he would not miss the service at the war memorial this year. Well-wrapped and with waterproofs, his family wheeled him along to take his place as usual in respect of all his fallen comrades.