John Jenkins: Well-wishers invited to pay their respects to Portsmouth D-Day veteran at his funeral

WELL-WISHERS will be able to pay their respects to John Jenkins MBE who died aged 100 last month.

Friday, 3rd January 2020, 1:55 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd January 2020, 7:14 pm

Tributes poured in for the D-Day veteran, who was one of the last few surviving Normandy Landings veterans, when it was announced he had died on December 17, 2019.

The Portsmouth Football Club boardroom steward, of Eastern Road, Milton, died at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham after a short illness.

On Wednesday January 8, a funeral procession will pass The D-Day Story at 12.45pm and Fratton Park at 1pm and people are welcome to gather there as a mark of respect.

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15/11/19 Portsmouth D-Day veteran John Jenkins. Picture: Habibur Rahman

A family funeral service will take place at Portchester Crematorium at 1.45pm.

The family plan to hold a memorial service later in the year to honour John's life where all who wish to celebrate his life will be welcome to attend, but details have not been finalised.

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Mr Jenkins caught the eyes of world leaders and people from across the globe when he was on stage at D-Day 75 commemorations on Southsea Common.

Tribute were paid to John Jenkins ahead of the match between Pompey and Ipswich Town at Fratton Park on December 21. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages

His life saw him set off to sea at 14 on fortnightly cruises to the West Indies as a Cunard bellboy on HMS Mauretania.

A Merchant Navy sailor, he was called up to serve in the Army and worked the ammunition at Gold Beach in Arromanches, France in 1944.

He celebrated his 100th birthday on November 16 and told The News his time at war was full of ‘terrible days and good days’.

Mr Jenkins joined the army in 1940, and was called upon August 15 of that year.

John Jenkins at Fratton Park in 2015. Picture: Joe Pepler

He was a platoon sergeant with the Royal Pioneer Corps when he landed on Gold Beach, having set off from Portsmouth the day before.

Mr Jenkins, a keen painter, educated visitors to the D-Day Story in Southsea as a volunteer, and was posthumously awarded a News New Year Honour for 2019.

Former defence secretary, and Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, said: ‘John’s life was one of service and dedication.

‘He was the living embodiment of what Portsmouth stands for. He is much loved and he will be much missed. I feel very privileged to have known him.’

Family flowers only by request, if desired, donations can be made at or payable by cheque to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance or Rowans Hospice c/oCo-operative Funeralcare, 157 Fratton Road, Portsmouth, PO1 5ER, tel 023 9286 3031.