Remebrance-18-2
D4S0472
Town-Hall-2011-05-0308-
TdB-Pewsey044
Duke-of-Kent086
George-Wilding-301
Camilla-MSM
Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08-----07
Roving-Crows1
Brooks-Williams1
FROSTY-MORNING-
Inbox2
Bluebells-in-West-Woods-10-05-09------30
Animals06
BABRURY-XC-JUMP-473
Inquisitive-sheep-in-West-Overton
4MI-2013-11-28030
Remebrance-18-1
Snowy-High-Street
MBORO-HOCKEY-YOUTH-473
Musical-Time-Machine5
MYFC005
Christmas-Lights15-11-20097
Sunset2
Turin-Brakes6
YELLOWHAMMER-473-
Landscape
Marlborough-2013-04-18StPeters
Remebrance-18-3
Big-Bull
SBJ
Scouting-for-Girls7
D812668
1stXV-and-others-with-Mayor
Camilla-2012-10-19152
Mop-Fair---10-10-09------08
Inbox-1
Civic-Service-18
Marlborough-under-snow-from-above---Pete-Davies
Tina-May5
Torch-2012-05-23093-
Pete-Gage-Band1
White-Horse
IMG9097
Brazier
IMG8472
EARLY-MORNING-CANTER-473-
Sunset
Hares017cropped
JazzFestSat572
Ogbourne
D4S9273
Gordon-and-Sam

 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Obituary: Johnny O'Keeffe war veteran & former town cryer has died aged 93

Johnny O'Keeffe - merchant seamanJohnny O'Keeffe - merchant seamanMarlborough's former Town Cryer, Johnny O’Keeffe who spent much of his life on the high seas with the Merchant Navy, but always returned to the town where he was born, has died at the age of 93.

Mr O’Keeffe who died on November 19 donated his body for medical research and a gathering in his memory was held at Marlborough Conservative Club.

His father was an Irishman who married into the Dunford grocery family in Marlborough and Mr O’Keeffe’s grandparents ran Dunford’s grocery shop in the High Street with his mother. Later she continued the family business in The Parade where, during a break from his Merchant Navy service, Johnny O’Keeffe opened a grocery store.

He was born in The Parade and went to St Peter’s Boys School before joining Marlborough Golf Club as an assistant to the professional.

Amazingly for a man who was to spend so much time at sea, he became a scratch golfer and his love of the game remained until the end of his life. Daughter Angela Dodman said: “After his wife and family, golfing was one of his greatest passions.”

Aged 16 when World War Two started, he joined the Merchant Navy and served on Atlantic Conveys carrying food and supplies to Russia and to Allied countries.

In recent years he belatedly received the Legion d’Honneur from the French Government and the Ushakov medal from Russia. He had previously received the Atlantic Convoy Medal.

He took a break from his navy service and continued the family tradition opening his own grocery shop in The Parade.  But the call of the sea became too much for him and he re-joined the Merchant Navy and served on the QE2 when she ferried troops to the Falklands in 1982.

His daughter said: “My father loved the sea and the navy, but he always looked forward to coming home to Marlborough.”

Mr O’Keeffe’s wife Tess died in 2010 after the couple had celebrated their diamond wedding at their home in York Place.

He was Marlborough's town cryer from 1988-93 when he handed over to Alfie Johnson, who has also recently retired.

He was a stalwart member of the Royal British Legion and always  joined the Remembrance Day parade proudly wearing his medals.

In later years he continued his love for travel by touring the UK and Western Europe on trips with Barnes Coaches.

Sadly Mr and Mrs O’Keeffe lost their son Kevin in tragic circumstances and he is survived by his daughter Angela, seven grandchildren and by his older brother Michael, who emigrated to Canada after the second world war.

Johnny O'Keeffe was remembered and his service to the town marked when town councillors stood in silent respect during last week's full meeting of the Town Council (December 12).

Print Email

Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08---07
D812668
Sunset2
Torch-2012-05-23093-
Animals06
CivicSelfie1
Duke-of-Kent086
ARKManton-2012-01-1449-
Civic-Service-18
Pete-Gage-Band1
Landscape
Camilla-MSM
George-Wilding-301
4MI-2013-11-28030
Roving-Crows1
SBJ
Sunset
IMG8472
D4S9273
Inquisitive-sheep-in-West-Overton
Remebrance-18-3
Marlborough-2013-04-18StPeters
Mop-Fair---10-10-09---08
1stXV-and-others-with-Mayor
Brooks-Williams1
MYFC005
Snowy-High-Street
D4S0472
Camilla-2012-10-19152
Marlborough-under-snow-from-above---Pete-Davies
Musical-Time-Machine5
Tina-May5
Christmas-Lights15-11-20097
TdB-Pewsey044
Remebrance-18-2
Brazier
Scouting-for-Girls7
Ogbourne
White-Horse
Bluebells-in-West-Woods-10-05-09---30
Town-Hall-2011-05-0308-
IMG9097
Remebrance-18-1
Big-Bull
Turin-Brakes6
JazzFestSat572
Gordon-and-Sam
Hares017cropped