Former Royal Marine named Gosport's '˜local hero' at star-studded ceremony
A ROYAL Marines veteran has been left '˜gobsmacked' after his volunteering work led to him being named a local hero.
Jack Poole was honoured at a star-studded celebration in London for his dedication and warmth over the last nine years as a volunteer at the Search museum in Gosport Discovery Centre in the town’s High Street.
The 90-year-old was nominated by his peers for the Local Hero award at the Churchill Awards ceremony, which took place in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hyde Park, London.
The veteran was joined by celebrities from all industries at the lavish ceremony, including EastEnders’ and Carry On star Dame Barbara Windsor and TV presenter and journalist Angela Rippon.
Jack told The News: ‘It really came as a complete shock to me.
It was a bombshell that left me feeling a little gobsmacked. I absolutely loved the occasion and for me it’s such a nice honour to think that people who visit the museum nominated me for the award.’
Jack provides his wealth of knowledge to visitors at the museum every Saturday seeking to inform people all about the Gosport’s history.
He was been born in Mill Lane, Gosport, in 1926 before he went on to serve over 24 years in the Royal Marines.
Jack lived in the midlands for several years before returning home 12 years ago.
He added: ‘It’s an absolute pleasure for me to make people aware of Gosport’s incredible history.
‘I love talking to children and people of all ages about what’s gone on in this historic place to keep it rich and fresh in their minds.
‘Sometimes they ask me some really interesting questions and it is so nice to be able to show them the real history of the area.’
Jack, who now lives in Elson, is also a volunteer at Gosport Voluntary Action.
The Churchill Awards celebrate the continuing achievements of those aged over 65 across a range of areas such as in politics, television and literature.
Jack was one of only two non-celebrities who won awards on the evening.