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JOHN EMERY: The 'D-Day Dodger' turns 100

Saturday 23rd May 2020

Harrietsham’s John Emery, a war-time veteran celebrating on Monday (May 25) his 100th birthday, insists he is ‘no D-Day Dodger.’

John served with the Royal Signals in North Africa, Sicily and Italy during World War Two. At that time Lady Astor, speaking to Parliament, amazed many by describing Servicemen in Italy as ‘D-Day Dodgers.’

More than 60 years later John, a member of the Rotary Club of Maidstone for 44 years, amused fellow Rotarians with the story when speaking at a club lunch and proving he and his colleagues were certainly no ‘Dodgers.’

He should have been guest of honour with his two children at a club lunch in Maidstone on Friday but coronavirus problems prohibited that.

John was born in South London and after schooling became a trainee draughtsman with London Electricity Company (later part of Seeboard). After war service John returned in 1946 to work in the electric supply business and this eventually brought him to Maidstone as a qualified electrical engineer. He retired as district manager.

John and his late wife Elizabeth settled in Harrietsham and enjoyed their retirement. They were both keen members of Bearsted Golf Club and holidayed in their caravan in Scotland and France.

John kept remarkably fit and independent until last year when his memory faded and he moved to a nursing home near Bristol to live close to his son Simon.

“He has not changed - he still keeps very active around the home,” said daughter Sarah Dorward.