Bulmer & District




        Bulmer & District History Group

Jack Ford 1918 - 2005

John Ford, son of George Ford, a London policeman, and Ella Ford.

I was an “only child” and I lived with my parents in a very modest 3 roomed flat opposite the stage door of the Coliseum Theatre. We were therefore within walking distance of all the West End of London, the major parks, government buildings, the Thames, and some railway stations, and a host of attractions within a few miles. My parents were supportive in my enthusiasm to explore this vast array of interests. To this end my father would invite me to pick any place of my choice on the London bus map for our regular Sunday afternoon outings.”

In 1939 Jack joined the Territorial Army Royal Army Ordnance Corps and as part of the British Expeditionary Force, served in France. Following the Dunkirk evacuation, he was sent to Ashford Lodge army camp near Halstead. There he met Mabel Cornell, who, with her step-sister Dolly Hearn, just chanced to stroll by the camp. They were married in Little Maplestead in 1942.

Ashford Lodge 1940, Jack bottom left

The army posted Jack to India and he was there when the atom bomb was dropped on Japan, hearing the news with disbelief. Jack returned to England at Christmas 1945 and resumed his job at Ascot Water Heaters in London.

In 1950 daughter Gillian was born so Jack and Mabel moved from central London to a larger flat in Willesden Green. Suffering from cancer in the 1950s, Jack benefited from the new National Health Service which saved his life. In 1958 Jack, Mabel and Gillian moved to St Albans and Jack became the first member of his family ever to own a property.


Jack retired in 1982 and travelled widely.  He died a few months after his wife, Mabel and their ashes are buried side by side in Bulmer where Mabel was born.

Jack is survived by his daughter, Gillian.

Gillian Lamb March 2011