Jack Lowe, a life-long Twickenham resident, died peacefully on 22nd June, just three days short of his 101st birthday, in the much-loved home built by his family in the 1920s.

Only the year before he had celebrated his 100th birthday in Canberra, Australia, with his niece, Jan Moule, and her family and friends.

Much to his delight, a congratulatory card from the Queen was hand-delivered there. Jack saw Jan much as a daughter, his beloved elder brother, Jan’s father, having died in his mid-thirties when she was a young child.

This was the last of many flights Jack made to visit Jan. He was thoroughly spoilt by the Singapore Airlines crew.

They held a party during the stop-over, and presented him with a signed cake and champagne. On his departure back to the UK, the captain and crew formed a ‘guard of honour’ to welcome him on board.

Jack was born in St Margarets on 26 July 1919. At the age of eight he moved with his family moved to Chudleigh Road, Twickenham, the same home in which he died 93 years later. It was the first house to be built in the road, to his parents’ specification, and was surrounded by fruit orchards.

Jack spoke often of early Twickenham, and had clear memories of Richmond House on Twickenham riverside before its demolition in 1924. He attended St Mary’s Church for 92 years, having first been brought there by his mother as an eight year old.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Richmond House

Jack had a varied career, training as a chef in the hotel industry in the 1930s, retraining and running his own business, a successful hair salon in Whitton in the 1950s and 60s, before switching many years later to work for HMRC.

He spent the Second World War as a driver for senior military officers, a role that put him in the vanguard of numerous significant events. He was among those to land at Sword Beach just after D-day, with his landing craft nearly sinking in a terrific storm, having lost the chunk of mulberry harbour and a barrage balloon that it was towing.

He was with the British troops who liberated Brussels in September 1944, and among the first troops to enter Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945. After VE Day Jack spent a further two years in Germany involved with reconstruction work.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Troops on a landing ship at Sword beach in 1944

By any measure Jack was a remarkable man. He loved the theatre, music, ballet and his G&Ts. He was fiercely independent, running his own home until a fall in March.

He was a consummate cook and ardent gardener, keeping an impeccable welcoming home to the end. He drew friends from all backgrounds and generations, with his innate love of people, and a wicked sense of humour.

He was loyal and generous to a fault – and this was returned in equal measure. He was close to his extended family, often spending Christmases and other family occasions with the Hawking family in Cambridge, Jane Hawking being the daughter of his close cousin, Beryl.

In March, after a fall, Jack was admitted to West Middlesex Hospital where, sadly, he contracted Covid-19. Remarkably he survived, but was left exhausted.

He desperately wanted to return home, which he did in May, and for the first time in his long life had to accept the help of carers. He died peacefully there on 22 June. His funeral service was held in St. Mary’s Church, Twickenham on Tuesday, 7.