John Gordon Lockwood (Class of 1940)


John Gordon Lockwood was born on 5 December 1924 in Wandsworth, London, to parents Ernest John Lockwood (1899-1980) and Ethel Dorothy Sweetman (née Sweetman) (1896-1988). He was followed a few years later by sister, Sheila Margaret (1928-1996). 

John was educated at the City of London School and excelled at academics and sport, especially Rugby Union, swimming, cricket, and athletics. His parents had wanted John to continue his education at university level, but he opted instead to join the Royal Navy. John and his best friend were keen to do their bit for "king and country". His friend did not like the idea of potentially having a "watery grave" so chose to join the army instead. Sadly, John's friend ended up dying in battle. John served as a Signalman on two ships during the war, the HMS Malaya, and the HMS Kingsmill. On the former, John suffered severe burns on his body and arms after a torpedo struck the ship. On the latter, John was present at the D-Day Landings in June 1944 at Gold Beach when he was just 19 years old. 

After the war, John joined Lloyd's of London as a Clerk in the Marine Salvage Department, but quickly rose to leading the whole of the department. In September 1952, John married Marjorie Blodwen Thurlow and together they had two children; first came Anne Geraldine in July 1954, followed in January 1957 by Carole Margaret. The family lived together in Harrow and Wembley, Middlesex. John retired from Lloyd's in early 1984 and, together with Marjorie, relocated from London to the south coast, living in Aldwick Felds, West Sussex. 

John loved the sea ever since his days in the Navy and would regularly walk miles along the coast from Aldwick to Bognor Regis, listening to the sound of the waves, once stating, "the rougher, the better". John was an avid reader, amassing a collection of hundreds of books, all varying topics. He loved organ music and was known to travel to Chichester Cathedral just to hear the organist play. 

John and his wife saw out their final years at a care home in Bognor Regis, West Sussex. He was devoted to Marjorie, who died on 12 January 2021, and John died just over a year later on 6 April 2022. He was 97 years old. His funeral was held at Chichester Crematorium on 26 April 2022. He leaves behind his daughters, Anne and Carole, and his grandson, Christian, and a lifetime of love and memories.