John Jeffries Obituary

John Jeffries: 22nd March 1922 – 30th August 2020

John Jeffries passed away at 9.45pm on Sunday, 30th August aged 98.  John parachuted onto the Ginkelseheide near Arnhem on 18th September 1944.  He was under fire the moment he left his aircraft.  A member of the Royal Signals Corps John was attached to 4th Parachute Brigade at Arnhem  Severely wounded he lay on the burning heath and had it not been for the quick thinking of the medic who found him there we would have lost one of our most cherished characters.

In recent years John has attended the annual commemorations at Arnhem and the 156 Parachute Battalions in Melton Mowbray where his company was much sought.  Diminutive in size he might have been, but he had the heart of a giant.

In 2017 John parachuted with the Red Devils Parachute Regiment’s Display Team at Peterlee near his home in Richmond, Yorkshire.  Later that year at Arnhem he parachuted onto the heath near Arnhem where he had been wounded all those years ago.  His bravery attracted national attention and he was presented with a special medal by the Colonel Commandant of the Parachute Regiment Lieutenant General Sir John Lorimer KCB. DSO. MBE. for embodying the spirit of the Parachute Regiment.

John’s father came to England from Ireland and when asked for his name which was Jeffers, the English took it as Jeffries, and this became the family name.

John Jeffries carried a smile on his face that lit up a room.  He exuded a love of life and could see the good in everyone.  He was a beacon of all the finest qualities a person could possess and will never be forgotten.

He was pre-deceased by his wife Mona 32 years ago and leaves a daughter Lynn, a son Paul, and grandchildren Katie, Thomas and Emma.

John Jeffries was the last Arnhem veteran to attend our Reunions at Melton Mowbray. Seen here at the 2019 Reunion.