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( Jack's hidden page has been moved. Email Robin@gpss.co.uk to know where )
In 2001, Jack was filmed by the BBC, for a BBC World "Click Online" broadcast about Geocaching - what was then a new GPS Treasure Hunting Hobby. After being contacted by the BBC, Robin trained up two of his neighbour's children - particular young Sam, aged four. Sam soon knew how to use a GPS to find a Geocache. They filmed in Richmond Park, Sam starred as the World's youngest Geocacher, and Jack appeared as the oldest. We remember Jack being bitten by a squirrel - but the squirrel survived :-)
This may seem like a "wierd blog" but it's raw material for others to use.
Below was written in 2017 ...
I expect some of the material below to appear in our 2017 Christmas Newsletter, and it's possible some is used by others. That's me with Jack, enjoying the sun at Bray Lake in 2016, and much of my knowledge of Sunninghill came from Jack. His short term and long term memory was remarkable - better than anyone I know - of any age. Of course, some of the local "Royal" stories he told me, were hardly likely to be shared with his daughters, including my long-suffering wife June :-)
When June's Dad went to St Michael's School in the 1920's he remembers the playground as not being surfaced, and there being one or two pine trees. There was also a large gun, left there for the boys to play with, from the 1914-18 War. It was eventually taken away - probably boys fell off it too many times. The school boys were always disappointed that they were never allowed live ammunition.
The picture on the left was taken in about 1931. June's Dad, Jack Ponsford, is the little chap leaning over to the left of the guy in the middle holding the paper. This is taken from my Sunninghill page.
The Ponsford family connection to the village go back to about 1870, when June's great-grandfather arrived in Sunninghill. He was a 'Navigator' as they called them then - now we call them 'Navis' or labourers - who came up from the west country with the men helping to build the railway. When you look at the deep railway cutting through Sunninghill, you realise there was one heck of a lot of work digging that out by hand. He met a local girl and decided to stay. St Michaels School, in the centre of Sunninghill, was where generations of Ponsfords, and then Lovelock's (Samantha, Saskia and Michelle) went to school.
Jack's ashes are now near his relatives at St Michael's Church in Sunninghill.
.... We then had our lovely two weeks in Sicily, from Thursday 28th May, until we returned on Thursday 11th June. See our Holiday page. e.g. Checkout this year's Video of our holiday in Sicily". If you think I was crazy, just look at our crazy Italian friends ! :-)
While we were away, we learned that Jack, June's 97 year old dad, had fallen, at his home, and been taken to hospital. This obviously took priority for our time, including making sure he was treated in Frimley rather than Wrexham Park. Regular visits were made by June and myself, either to St Mark's at Maidenhead (looked excellent to me) or Frimley Park Hospital (also excellent).
Here's Jack Geocaching a few years ago, before we had pub grub. On the right is a picture from "Golf World" Magazine, when they did an article on the Sunningdale Artisan's Golf Club. There are many more pictures of Jack in our family Christmas Newsletters, linked off my Family Page. Jack is an old soldier, captured north of Dunkirk, before he did the Long March, then train jouney, to Stalag 8b POW Camp in Poland. Sid de Haan, the guy who set up SAGA, was with him during these years, including the adjacent bunk in Stalag 8b. The bible given Jack by the Germans at the POW camp is a treasured family heirloom - along with the artillery shell case and hand grenade. The hand grenade was used in recent years, in a prank I played on Michael: he was testing my new metal detector, and the grenade just happened to find itself buried in the lawn where he was looking for a coin, I'd said I'd planted. Michael had to change his trousers soon after. Jack told me many tales over the years. e.g. There was an exchange of prisoners, before the Normandy landings, and they were escorted by a German U-Boat, to neutral Swedish waters, then to Royal Navy escort. When Jack and his POW comrades arrived in Scotland, they were moved down to Aldershot, for a few weeks "recuperation and films to catch up on news". Next down to the south coast, to join those preparing for the Normany Landings. The guys who had just returned did not take kindly, and hoped for a little home leave. Some rioted and burnt the huts down. It was good to hear that the Army did not respond as they did in WW1, and have the men shot: instead these "trouble makers" were split up, and posted to different parts of the country, sometimes near their homes. I'm glad Jack survived the war, or June would never have been born. When the allied front was well east, towards Berlin, Jack was stationed at De Haan, the small coastal town near Ostende. They used German POWs to search for mines, that had not been properly marked, along the beach. Every now and again there would be an explosion, and one less POW to feed (I guess whoever wins a war, writes the history books). Jack was with the Army medics, and drove an ambulance. During our chats over the years, I recognised when there were other memories he'd rather keep tucked away, being too painful to recall. Jack has lighter "Royal" tales to tell, such as when Liz and Philip's place at Home Farm, the other side of Sunninghill, burnt down, due to a decorator leaving a blow lamp on. They then moved to Windlesham Moor, on our side of the village. The Fergussens lived just across the road from us - where they are now building a care home. Jack helped his mates with things like the Fergussons moving from Sunninghill to Dummer, and then the laying of carpets at their new home. Jack's "bricky" friend Harry Trip did work at Bagshot Park, now the residence of the royal couple in the pictures of Frimley Park Hospital. Jack confirms that only "Saving Private Ryan" gives a realistic impression of the reality of combat.
Jack in a 1943 copy of Windsor Slough and Eton Express local newspaper: Party in Duke's Head Sunninghill: back from Stalag 8b POW camp but before Normandy.
Ida met Jack during the war, while both were working in the Royal Victoria Military Hospital Netly , near Southampton. Click on these pictures to expand.
Cpl Albert Morton,RE, Mrs Morton, Mrs Minnie Ponsford, mother of (Reginald) Jack Ponsford, Jack, and his father George Ponsford. Minnie and George were June Lovelock's Grandparents. George passed away before June was born, but Robin and June remember Minnie, and Jan, her Polish lodger, at 17 Lower Village Rd, Sunninghill.
It would be great to increase Jack's fitness, and maybe even remove his catheter, the root medical cause of his many problems - both medical and psychological. e.g. regular urinary infections causing lack of balance, and sometimes confusion. e.g. unwillingness to leave home because of frequent wetting of his trousers.
This picture of Jack playing Snooker was not the last time he did, and is from our 2010 Newsletter. His regular trips on the white bus, either into Windsor, or Warfield Tesco, were great - we would hear his tales of chatting up the "young girls" in their 70s, at the bus stop or on the bus. "Of course, I never tell them where I live, or they would be calling on me !" :-)
We may be able to get him out and about, as he still was in August 2016, doing the Tesco "Big Shop" with us - but also on things like trips out. In recent months these have been limited to a run out in the car with Robin, and walking a few yards to a seat, such as at Bray Lake. Sometimes he will walk around Homebase, while Robin visits Maplins at Maidenhead. It may simply need solving bladder infection problems, better incontinence products, and building his confidence.
If we could overcome his pride, in his not wanting to be seen by neighbours on a mobility scooter, that could be a major break-through: Jack could join us on things like our weekend trips out to an NGS garden: he was doing this until mid 2015. He might even venture out a bit on his own, such as the end of Prince Andrew Way, where there is a nice recreation area near the pond, where young families go to feed the ducks. Robin has the scooter, got second-hand from the excellent Scootermart, near The Point, in Bracknell. They are a good source for advice and aids for old people, like grab bars. The scooter is near our front door - because Jack will not have it "cluttering his garden". Jack often gives convincing but misleading information about what is really going on in his mind. Compare his reply to the sensitive question, "you've had a few falls, haven't you Jack ?", to the large number he has had in the past year, that required a ambulance call out. The scooter can easily be assembled/disassembled, to be taken in the back of a car, if anyone wants to take Jack out, and walk more than a few yards. If he visited a golf club, he might see lots of old guys using their "Golf-Buggys" ;-) The first important step might be for Jack to agree to checking the scooter out in his back garden.
But Jack has always been a "Loner", avoiding speaking to people where he can. He even avoids making contact with old Sunningdale (Artisan) Golf Club friends, like Dave Dean, who we bumped into at Tescos. But there are countless examples where he will happily chat to a stranger who may then become a friend. His memory is so good that he tells it about later. e.g. Terry Adams at Tesco. I remember, a few years ago, when Jack was helping me man my NHSCare.info at the Ascot Retirement Fair, his being engaged in a long conversation with a lady manning the adjacent SAGA stand. She was clearly eager to continue the long conversation with Jack. It was then that we discovered why she was so interested: Jack had spent most of the war years, sleeping in the next bunk, in Stalag Luft 8b, to Sid de Haan. They had been hiding in a deserted farm house, north of Dunkirk, when the Germans caught them. After the war, Sid de Haan set up SAGA holidays. There is a bit more at the top of Robin's Klaus page. e.g. coincidences like the farm house being near the town of De Haan ! :-)
Here are two products already used to support my 97 year old father in law, Jack, who does everything for himself at home. The first is the "Starcam", purchased from China years ago, at about £30 off e-bay. The original Starcams are still used around Jack's house, work well, and can be accessed from both smartphones and software, called "IP Camera Super Client" on our Windows PC. My problem is in finding more, still supported by the PC software. Recent versions of the product look identical, but can only be accessed by smartphone, and without the extra features supported on the PC, such as motion detection, sound, and recording of pictures and video. Can anyone help me locate suitable "Starcam" product ? The "X009" below might also be a product suitable for support to the elderly. Jack avoids publicity - although this photo was among those in Golfer's World, in the article about Sunningdale Artisan's Golf Club. He spent most of the war years in Stalag Luft 8b, in the adjactent bunk to Sid De Haan, who later set up SAGA Holidays. Jack has many a tale to tell, including about the Royal Family. e.g. helping the Fergussens to move from Sunninghill to Dummer ! :-)
The next example is "Pocket Pal", supplied by Bracknell Forest Council, and publicized on ITV shortly after rollout in February 2016. There are many companies distributing similar or identical product under different names, including "Pocket Pal", "Footprint", "MindMe", "Amigo", "Spotter", "Stray Star", and "Pebble". I wished to find reliable suppliers of this product(s), particularly regarding the firmware within the product and the web based services and sofware used to support it. The huge benifits and risks of using product from China is well known - to some of us. I have been working with the factory in Shenzhen, for purely charitable reasons. e.g. providing free advice to those exploiting these products, such as local Government and Health Authorities.
Click on the picture on the right see the details of a typical Pocket Pal tracking screen.
I contacted the UK supplier who sells it as "Footprint" to Bracknell Council who then call it "Pocket Pal". I was soon in contact with the factory in Shenzhen, China. Tests show that the technology works brilliantly - if used properly and supported by an adequately staffed 24/7 call centre. Early questions of Forestcare staffing, particularly "out of hours", meant that I researched support from adjacent local Government areas. Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council led me to this useful List of Personal Locators . Pocket Pal was retained, and Forestcare have given Jack excellent support this year. e.g. a brief chat with him if he presses the SOS button by accident, or the power runs low due to poor contact with the charger. The log of all GPS movements, SOS calls, or power low events, can all be seen by the family. i.e. "looking over the shoulder" of Forestcare. The old Forestcare "Lifeline" equipment, installed years ago, was replaced by that from Surrey's Runneymede Community Alarm & Telecare Centre. Jack's Doro mobile 'phone now has the "Help" button programmed to alert family and the Surrey 24/7 Support Centre. i.e. Jack's alarm system is triplicated.
Soon after contact with the Shenzhen factory, I was amazed by how quickly they fixed minor bugs in features not used by Forestcare. This was often within hours of it being raised in our friendly email exchanges. Friends and myself and my wife are now using Pocket Pals for other applications. e.g. Hands-free phones, or as GPS-loggers, recording our walks in the country, minute-by-minute, looking for a Geocache, then looking at our track in 3D using a KML file in Google Earth. The Pocket Pal may even be used in Snoopy's Robot Boat that attempts to cross the Atlantic every year. See Jasper Coppings article in the Sunday Telegraph the Sunday before the 2012 launch. This sparked publicity across the World, including UK BBC Radio and TV coverage, and Newspapers in USA and even New Zealand.
Click on pictures to enlarge. The Pocket Pal comes with an easy to use instruction book, and the main task is to insert a SIM card. For many years, whatever the tracker, this was a simple task, by temporarily putting the SIM card into a simple mobile 'phone - like my old Nokia here. Top up can be a bit more fiddly on some networks, since they are not now organised for where the SIM card is in a tracker. However, most pay-as-you-go services are fine, and you should not need to do it very often, based on my experience with my first Pocket Pal: running 24/7 for several months, updating the web site map every 3 minutes - or in recent weeks, every one minute.
Photos taken by Robin are in www.gpss.co.uk/jackgw1.jpg, jackgw2.jpg, .... jackgw5.jpg
June at Ridgemount Artisans Golf Clubhouse on Sunday 14th May, looking emotional. A crowd of guys would have loved to come to Jack's funeral, but they had drunk a toast to him that morning. They asked June to get a photo* they could frame and put above the bar, in a prominent position, with other founder members. They asked if June and Gill could come and unveil it, probably next Sunday 21st May, if Gill and Steve Gurney ( son of the late Bill Gurney ) can be there. Rob spoke to Robin and then Samantha: that Sunday after midday would be perfect - being the Charity Day, and when the Nick Faldow Trophy is presented. All subject to confirmation, preferably by exchange of email with Robin. Mobile 07736 353 404. * Click to enlarge the photo found of Jack, with June and Robin in 2004. You guys can choose from those available. Robin will print A4 and put in a frame as a fall-back available in time. Rob Harvey will contact Robin about guys wanting to get together at Robin's 70th Party at The Cordes Hall Sunninghill on Friday 26th May. Look here :-)
Jack, Ailsa, June, Doreen, Carly, Matt (aka Michael), Robin ....
( June has electronic copy from Ailsa )
We start by the two old photos selected by Gill and June on Monday 8th May 2017. Just cropped Jack will be used on front and back of the handout at his funeral on Friday 12th May 2017. Jack would have been 98 on Tuesday 9th May. Click on the picture to enlarge. The original scan is in jackscan.jpg for better quality, before cropping.
The top is for the front of the handout, and was taken with Paul (Gill & Stephen's son), at Gill's Graduation ( 1998/1999 ?).
The lower one is for the back, and was taken at Ascot, with Paul and Stephen.
( more here after the funeral, but this is one reason why the men will have their own conversations in cars and the Pricess Royal at Runfold, after the service, starting at 1130, at Aldershot Cremitorim. Google maps is an easy way to guestimate timing and routes )
August 2017: Article in "THE MAGAZINE" - for the Parish of Sunninghill and South Ascot of Saint Michaels Church. Many Thanks to Karen and Roger Kohn.
On Saturday 19th August, June did work agreed with her sister Gill: tidied the grave of Jack's first daughter Marian June Ponsford, who died at just 18 month old. This is where they had laid Jack's ashes. Click on these photos to enlarge. They include some relevant to Jack and Robin's discussions with others in Sunninghill. How best to clean that stone inscription ? Where is Jack's mother Minnie ? June recalls Jack saying she was down the end, but we could not find her. Maybe you can help ?
Old photo found in March 2018: how Robin with remember Jack: here with June and Ida.
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