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27th Nov 2021

Robert ‘Bob’ Jarrold R.I.P.

Robert Jarrold

On Wednesday 24th November, we met at the Forest Road crematorium to celebrate the life and say our final farewells to our friend and fellow bowler Robert 'Bob' Jarrold who passed away having reached the age of 98. It was really nice for the family to see so many friends from down the years at the service to show their final respects. The coffin was led into the chapel by members of the British Legion and St Chads members made an honour guard as is our custom at funerals for a passed member. The service was led by John Tully (Romford BC) and there were eulogy's by Bob's son Dave and grandson William. When someone reached the age of 98 it can be expected that they had a full and interesting life and that Bob certainly had as we learned through the service. Bob was one of life's true gentlemen with a passion for cricket, bowling and his family. He will be very much missed by all who knew him. R.I.P Bob.

The text of the service and eulogy's are copied below for those who were unable to be at the service and it is possible, until 22nd December, to watch the service by going to https://watch.obitus.com use login - qihu5064 and password - 199226

Introduction by John Tully

Good afternoon everyone. May I welcome you all here today as we remember and celebrate the life of Robert Jarrold, universally known to everyone as “Bob”.

First of all, may I thank you all very much for coming to support Bob’s close family at this time. Your presence means such a lot. Today we will honour and celebrate Bob’s long life, and this celebration of it has been planned with much love by Bob’s family and having known Bob myself for over 30 years, I am honoured and privileged to have been asked to lead it.

Bertrand Russell wrote:

An individual human existence should be like a river – small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past boulders and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and – in the end – without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being. The man or woman, who, in old age, can see his or her life in this way, will not suffer from the fear of death, since the things they care for will continue.

In whatever capacity you knew Bob; you have left your daily routines today to acknowledge some of the thoughts and feelings that well up when we are faced by the sadness of death. Everyone here today shares in the sorrow of this occasion, each experiencing the emptiness, which comes from separation and acknowledging the gap that the Bob’s death will leave in your lives.

But sadness should not be the only emotion. You have all been touched by Bob’s life in some way or another, so remember him with kindness, with warmth, with fond memories, with love and affection, and above all with gratitude for knowing what he has added to the experience of your life.

It’s almost impossible in just a few minutes to portray in words the life of a man who has lived for over 98 years and no portrait, no matter how good, will be a complete reflection to those who knew him best. I can only really sketch his picture and ask that you fill in the colours to complete the portrait with your own memories.

I have been asked to read these words famously written by Henry Scott Thomas; “Death is nothing at all”

Death is nothing at all.

It does not count.

I have only slipped away into the next room.

Nothing has happened.

Everything remains exactly as it was.

I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.

Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by the old familiar name.

Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.

Put no difference into your tone.

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.

Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

Life means all that it ever meant.

It is the same as it ever was.

There is absolute and unbroken continuity.

What is this death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.

All is well.

Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.

One brief moment and all will be as it was before.

How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!”

We will now hear from William Jarrold.

In typical Jarrold fashion he made sure everyone else was ok before himself, this went double for his family.

He always supported me and Amy in everything we did or wanted to do. He very much approved of our choice in partners and loved them as much as if they were his own grand kids.

He had the opportunity to become a great grandad to Toby and Lois and I know he loved them as much as the rest of the family.

I just want to thank Mum and Dad for looking after him for the last eighteen months. The hours they out in were super human and me and Amy really appreciated it.

98 years old, 2 away from being on the honours board, massive jug avoidance. But here’s a drink anyway.

Thank you very much William.

Tribute to Bob

We think that Robert Jarrold was born at home, which at that time 14 September 1923, was in Battersea. He was the third of four children born to his parents Chas and Liz. The family lived in Battersea for the first five years of Bob’s life; until Chas, a power station employee, was transferred to work at Barking power station and the family moved to live in Reed Road, Dagenham.

Bob had what could be described as an uneventful education and like most at that time left his last school, Fanshawe, at the age of 14.

He was however a good cricketer, so much so that he was called up for a trial for the Essex Cricket Schoolboy team, he played wicket keeper; his major problem was he couldn’t see over the stumps! Also a very good footballer, he went on to play football for Dagenham County High School as a ringer. His performance was highlighted in the local newspaper and the Headmaster was reported to have said, “Who’s this Jarrold person”?

Having left school, he almost immediately went to work for Cable and Wireless, having a great capacity to remember numbers and addresses, he was employed as a telegram delivery boy, working across the City of London. The company sent him to Messenger Boy School in Theobalds Road, where he was taught morse code, something he was able to recall right up to shortly before he died. Bob could often be heard explaining morse to his neighbours, recalling the code saying, “Da-Da-Dit-Dit-Da.

In 1939 when Bob was 16, he along with the rest of the world was confronted by the outbreak of World War Two; being so young Bob remained at Cable and Wireless until in 1942 he tried to volunteer with Navy Recruitment, only to be rebuffed by the recruiting officer, to which Bob said, “Don’t you have any wireless in the Navy then”, the recruiter was not too impressed by this and replied, “Don’t give me any lip lad”! As a result, Bob went off and joined the Army instead. He began his military service on 3 September 1942 a member of the Royal Signals and began his career as a wireless operator.

During his early army service Bob was issued with a 48-hour pass, but as he always sent his pay to his mother, he was unable to travel home because he was short of money. Undeterred, Bob went to play bingo at the NAAFI and won enough money to get home.

It was around this time that Bob was visiting a friend he knew from school, Harry Pierce and he met Eileen, whose father was a Major in the Army. More of Eileen a little later.

Bob was posted to the 53rd Welsh Artillery unit as a wireless operator for the Brigadier, and as a corporal found himself participating in operation Overlord which lead on the 6th June 1944, to the largest seaborne invasion in history codenamed operation Neptune, D Day. Something to remember about Bob at this time he couldn’t swim, yet he still courageously jumped off the landing craft in to the sea with his comrades and made his way up to Gold Beach and began the liberation of Europe on the shores of France, some-time after the 6th. One of the most important roles played by Bob during this campaign was to send out regular wireless messages, which included fake information to confuse the enemy who were almost certainly intercepting the signals. Bob fought his way across Normandy through France into Belgium, Holland and ultimately in to Germany. One memory he recalled to his family of this time was of the liberation of a stock of Cherry Brandy and Irish Whiskey, which of course all evaporated in double quick time! Bob was in Holland at the time of his 21st birthday, I wonder if this coincided with the liberation of the Brandy?

By the winter of 1944/45 Bob was taking part in the Battle of the Bulge, contrary to the images of this battle portrayed in the film of that name, the actual battle was fought in extreme wintery conditions with up to 8 inches of snow on the ground and average temperatures of minus 7 degrees.

He found himself in Hamburg at the end of the War, but continued with the Army until March 1947. He saw service in Palestine, and was able to take part in football matches representing the division, even winning a trophy whilst he was there.

Demobbed in Aldershot, Bob returned to his home in Dagenham.

Bob’s father had always told him that he should keep up his job at Cable and Wireless and after the War Bob duly returned to the company this time as a telegraph officer and eventually became a supervisor. He worked one week on and one week off, and during his last six years at the company worked permanent nights at Electra House. He retired in 1982 aged 59.

I mentioned that Bob had met a girl called Eileen during the War. Their relationship clearly blossomed because shortly after his demob, Bob married Eileen at St Margret’s Church, Barking on 10 May 1947. The newly married couple went to live with Eileen’s mother to begin their life together, staying there until in 1950 they were able to move in to their own flat in Drapers Road and in 1958 moved in to Parsloes Avenue and Bob has lived there ever since.

Bob and Eileen were blessed with a Son David; also two grandchildren, Amy and William the family being completed with the arrival of great grandchildren Toby and Lois.

Away from business and work Bob enjoyed the lighter side of life. He enjoyed many family holidays, often visiting the Isle of Wight, staying at the same hotel most times. Also holidays with friends from the world of bowls. One thing Bob really liked was going on cruises; on one occasion the cruise ship was scheduled to leave on the journey from Tilbury, Bob recalled that the last time he had left on a cruise from there he was on a troop ship heading for the D Day beaches! On that particular holiday cruise, the first stop was Holland and he met some Dutch passengers on the ship, obviously got chatting to them and told them of his journey through their country during the War. The gratitude of his fellow passengers was so clear to see, even so many years after the liberation of their country.

On other occasions Bob took coach holidays in Europe, across Ireland, Austria and Norway. On one of these trips in Germany the coach crossed the Rhine, yet another wartime memory was recalled by Bob; he remembered crossing the same river, but at that time the bridge was a temporary pontoon bridge.

Having found cruise holidays later in life Bob came to love this style of travel; he spent his 90th birthday in the Eastern Mediterranean. He was very proud of the fact he received a round of applause on his actual birthday while the ship was in Mykonos. His last cruise was on the Queen Mary, but old habits die hard and Bob spent some of the time on that cruise watching a West Ham match in the middle of the Atlantic.

Bob’s link to so many people is through his love and participation in bowls. He joined May and Baker in 1975 and was a member at various time of Dagenham Central, North Thames Gas, Barking and latterly St Chads. He was presented with his Essex County badge and represented the County some 30 times. He was most closely linked to the East Ham and District Bowling Association, for which he served as the Association President and Treasurer and played in over 700 matches, he was also Treasurer of the many East Ham and District tours arranged by Phil Locke. He was a stalwart of the Barking Indoor Bowls Club and continued to play in club leagues well in to his 90s. I well remember him sitting at the end of the green taking the scores and communicating during Denny Cup and County League matches. He was also a ferocious supporter of the Essex Middleton Cup and Liberty Trophy teams.

A well-loved man, who returned this affection to his family and friends many times over. He so loved his family, son David and daughter in law Carol, grandchildren Amy and her husband Daniel, William and his wife Judith and of course his great grandchildren Toby and Lois.

Carol recalled one fond memory of Bob, when she was preparing a meal for him. She told me that Bob had a bit of a reputation for liking only plain food. Carol, was preparing a shepherd’s pie, she added some curry powder and other spices to which Bob, who had been watching, said, “I don’t want that ……” Carol replied, “well you’ve been eating it like that for over a year”! He had no answer to that.

Bob was small in stature but had a big heart and would go out of his way to help anyone in need. A great sense of humour and was a great character, and I think he was a what you saw was what you got type of individual.

Bob suffered poor health in recent times as a direct result of his Alzheimer’s induced dementia and needed to visit hospital as an in-patient on a number of occasions. As his health deteriorated Bob was admitted to Queens Hospital in Romford and on 26 October 2021 he died. A long life of over 98 years, well lived, may he rest in eternal peace.

Thank you.

We will now hear some music, “Down Came the Blind”, by Harry Champion. Please take this opportunity to reflect on your own personal memories of Bob.

We are now going to hear from David Jarrold.

I doubt whether anyone here today, apart from our immediate family, has ever heard that song. I was brought up with it as my dad used to sing it to me, but it was only relatively recently that I got to know who it was by after I spoke to my dad’s little brother Ted, who’s only 92 btw. It transpires that his mum Liz, used to sing it to him as a child, because when my grandparents young they used to see Harry Champion as he performed in the music halls of the early 1900’s.

As John has mentioned Carol and I spent a long time with him planning today. John has done a fantastic job of dealing with the factual side of my dad’s life. I would like to fill in some of the colours of the picture, with some incidents we recall

In 1984, Carol and I took a trip with Eileen and Bob across America. We were in a minibus in LA, touring the ‘Stars Homes’. The driver advised us that he would let us out from the van when required. We stopped for a pitstop and Bob ignored the driver’s advice and pulled on the handle to open the door, which promptly came off in his hand...cue his immortal line – ‘I didn’t touch it!’

After the passing of their wives, Bob used to holiday with a gang of cronies, including Carol’s dad Fred, Arthur Wilson and various others. However, he ran out of holiday buddies as sadly one by one they passed away. His loss was our gain, because we were able to enjoy lots of holidays with him. John has mentioned he liked cruises...he did, but his sense of direction on board was always terrible. Despite the fact we often sat in the same places after dinner, he never seemed to know which way to go to his cabin. Luckily he wasn’t responsible for plotting the Army’s route across France, Belgium and Holland.

In 1985, I was fortunate enough to be involved in a 3-day campaign myself, taking part in the National Finals of the Fours at Worthing. Always keen to be supportive and helpful Bob had scouted out our next opponents and kept informing us, ‘That team your playing next are playing well’. After our semi-final win, he said the same...’That team from Cambridgeshire you’re playing this afternoon are playing well.’ Graham Arnold snapped and said ‘BOB! WE’RE playing well !!’

On our last cruise together, a trans-Atlantic crossing on Queen Mary 2. We saw in the program an invitation to join a ‘Veterans Meeting’. We persuaded Bob to attend and we joined too. There were a couple of dozen people in the room that day, all veterans, some families, others still serving. The organiser did a round-the-room asking people to introduce themselves. Our ears pricked up when an obviously elderly chap, Max Eagelfeld, from Queens in New York, announced where he’d served. It turned out that he was in the same Army group as Bob during the Normandy Campaign. After the formal meeting, the two old guys had photographs taken together. To see two old comrades in arms together, was truly humbling

Since Bob passed away, we have had so many messages of condolence, from far and wide, for which we are grateful. The underlying message in each is that Bob was a thorough decent chap and one of life’s true gentleman. This we knew (an example is that even into his late 80’s he always insisted in trying to give up his seat to ladies on public transport. We had to tell him that HE deserved the seat too. That said, having that reinforced by so many family and friends brings comfort to us all

I have so many memories of Bob’s long life, there isn’t enough time to recount them all. All I can say, in closing, is Goodbye Dad – a true gentleman.

Committal:

May I ask you please to stand?

Time has now come to say a final farewell to Robert Jarrold.

Be thankful for Bob’s life. For the love he gave. For the friendships he sustained. For his contribution to your world. Nothing good about Bob’s life will be lost because it was of benefit to you. All that was important to him will be respected by those who follow, and all that was great about him will continue to mean so much to you.

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose on earth, a time to be born and a time to die. Here in this last act, in sorrow but without fear, in love, appreciation and pride,

We say goodbye with immense sadness, but let our grief be tempered by recollections of happy times, which will remain to comfort us for ever.

Goodbye Bob, you are now relieved from recent pain and suffering, you lived a memorable life to the full, you will never be forgotten, a devoted father, loving Grandfather, doting Great Grandfather and loyal friend to many.

Please be seated.

The Last Post and Reveille

Comfort for the future / Closing words by JT

We have been remembering with love and gratitude a long life that has ended, and as we approach the conclusion of our tribute to Bob, it remains for me to thank you all once again for being here in support of his family and to express your sympathy.

As you go, take with you these words of a poem with no known author called “They are not dead”. The words may help you.

The dead are not dead, who leave us this great heritage

Of remembered joy.

They still live in our hearts, in the happiness we knew,

In the dreams we shared.

They still breathe, in the lingering fragrance windblown,

From their favourite flowers.

They still smile in the moonlights silver

And laugh in the sunlight’s sparkling gold.

They still speak in the echoes of words

We’ve heard them say again and again.

They still move in the rhythm of waving grasses,

In the dance of the tossing branches.

They are not dead; Their memory is warm in our hearts.

Comfort in our sorrow. They are not apart from us, but a part of us

For love is eternal, And those we love shall be with us

Throughout all eternity.

It is to be rejoiced that the memory Bob lives on in the day to day lives of his son, grandchildren and great grandchildren. His influence can be seen in the consequences of his life’s work, which will endure. Bob will be remembered as a living, vital presence who truly made a difference to the world.

Thank you.

Closing Music: “Dancing Queen” by ABBA

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