Jack Cadogan, who lived in the same house in East Sheen since 1961 after moving from his Geordie roots in Newcastle on Tyne, has died shortly before his 95th birthday.

His neighbours were so pleased that he could join in enthusiastically with the VE Day ‘party’.

It cheered everyone up to have a World War Two veteran in their midst, waving the Union flag.

He was an avid supporter of local businesses, including the café at Palewell Park, bookshops and cinemas which he visited at speed on his powerful scooter, aka ‘The Chariot’.

His children attended local schools and his late wife, Dr Florence Cadogan, worked in Public Health and Family Planning in Queen Mary’s Hospital, and across Wandsworth, Battersea and Richmond.

The warmth of feeling towards Jack was clear from the many messages his family received when news of his death was circulated. Many younger people, who scarcely knew him, were much moved by his courtesy and old-fashioned good manners and took him to their hearts.

He greatly appreciated the support and affection of his neighbours, including the treasured help with the redesign of his much loved garden. He was intellectually active up until the end, with wide interests in politics, philosophy, history and the arts.

His regaling of stories of mishap and adventure when sailing in Suffolk, rock climbing and windsurfing regularly entertained his family and friends. His intrepid and fearless spirit came to the fore when he flew a Spitfire aged 93, a 71 year ambition since his days as a trainee RAF fighter pilot during WWII in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia).

He was planning a more daring repeat flight for his 95th birthday involving dives and loop the loops. During his time in Africa, the injustices of the South African and Rhodesian regimes helped establish his lifelong values and his commitment to challenging racism.

After demobilisation, he read PPE at The Queen’s College, Oxford, graduating with a starred first despite not always following the syllabus or attending lectures! His socialist values and commitment to social justice took him into nationalised industry.

He was particularly proud of pioneering ‘worker-participation’ when in charge of training at the National Coal Board. Later, he was second in command at one of the Government’s Industrial Training boards, and then worked for the Open University.

A close neighbour and friend described him as: "The beating heart of his street. No one else could claim to have been more than a small child when the war was won. It was our ‘historic’ flag that Jack was waving".

Jack was an inspirational father to his three daughters, Julia, Diana, and Liz, grandfather to five grandchildren, and committed partner to his later companion, Elizabeth. Sadly, he will never meet his two month old great-granddaughter, Lily. He will be sorely missed.

For funeral information, contact: T.H.Sanders and Sons at 020 8876 4673 or sanders.eastsheen@dignityfunerals.co.uk