Monday, 08 August 2022

John Manning, always helpful

JOHN MANNING died on June 9, aged 92. He was born in London in 1923, where

JOHN MANNING died on June 9, aged 92. He was born in London in 1923, where he lived with his parents and older sister. His mother Mary Ellen was widowed when he was only 18 months old. Life was tough.

He was educated in London but when the rumours of war started he enlisted in the Navy and joined the Fleet Air Arm where he saw active  service.

His ship was bombed in the North Atlantic and he sustained a severe injury to his shoulder and was hospitalised for nearly a year, cutting short his naval career.

He never talked of these dark days but we do know he was due to go on HMS Trinidad and for some reason did not make it. Sadly, the ship was sunk and all his fellow seamen were killed.

John met Edna in 1940 and they married in 1947. He had two children, Ian and Ann, two grandchildren, Matthew and Jonathan, and three great grandchildren.

John moved to this area in 1968 and after commuting to London for several years he joined Huntley and Palmers and then Routledge Kegan Paul until they closed their offices in Henley.

John became a director of his daughter’s business A Manning UK Ltd in 1984. Although he had retired at the age of 80, he started to work for her in the accounts department and did so up to a month before he died.

John was a member of a number of charitable organisations, including Henley Lions and then Rotary where he served for more than 50 years and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship. He held most of the offices and was president on three occasions.

He quietly went about offering up so much of his time and resources to make other people’s lives better through his charity work. If something needed doing he was there, you never had to ask twice.

He actively supported many local charities and was involved in the restoration of Chantry House. Indeed, over the years he silently raised thousands of pounds for various local Henley charities.

And all of this while never taking life, or himself, too  seriously!

Edna was by his side until she passed away in October 2014. John lost his soulmate and the spark went out of his life. Many will miss John, especially that twinkle in his eye and his keen sense of humour.

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