Obit: Former Murketts director’s funeral to take place on Monday

Jack Pope, a Brampton stalwart, who died earlier this month.

Jack Pope, a Brampton stalwart, who died earlier this month. - Credit: Archant

A former director of the Vauxhall dealers Murketts in Huntingdon, Jack Pope, has died aged 95.

Mr Pope had lived in Brampton all his life, starting with his father Herbert and sister Win at their thatched cottage in West End. Sadly, his mother Grace died in February 1919, shortly after his birth, and Jack had to be fostered until his father could organise care for him.

When he was returned to his family, he was cared for by his father’s nanny and housekeeper, Mrs Elliott, who he called Aunty Emma. She stayed with the family for many years until his father’s death.

After his tragic start in life, Mr Pope never lived far from home, apart from while he served as a soldier in the Second World War.

His father was a market gardener, which meant there was plenty of land around the cottage. When he returned from war and got married in the village to his wife May, the newlyweds moved into a house next to the cottage. In the 1960s, the couple moved to a bigger house opposite, but still in West End.

Mr Pope, who was educated at Huntingdon Grammar School, joined Murketts on leaving school and worked his way up to becoming a director of the parts department.

He worked there all his life, until he retired in 1983. His career was put on hold during the war when he served with the 14th Army in Burma alongside Gurkhas, of whom he became very fond. The young soldier lost his friend in Burma, George Bruce, the brother of his wife-to-be May, who died in a Japanese PoW camp. The couple would remember him every year with a special poppy at Remembrance Day services.

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Of the Gurkhas, Mr Pope never forgot them and was a member of a Gurkha organisation, sponsoring a Gurkha pension.

A member of Brampton Institute Club serving on its committee for many years, Mr Pope was also a great sportsman, playing both cricket and football for his village. He was at one time both secretary and treasurer for Brampton Cricket Club and went on to become a regular at St Neots Golf Club, eventually being made an honorary member.

Mr Pope never lost his businessman’s touch and well into his retirement helped to form Brampton and Buckden Probus Club for retired business people and professionals.

His daughter-in-law Maureen said: “Jack always looked forward to meetings of the Probus club. He was such a kind, sensible but jolly fellow, who always had time for people. He was very much loved.”

Mr Pope tragically lost his eldest son Graham, Maureen’s husband, to cancer in 1998, aged 50. Today he is survived by his wife May, son Ian, two grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

His funeral takes place on Monday, December 2, at 11.30am at Cambridge Crematorium West Chapel.