Clark, John C Travers

John Clark wrote his own ‘life’ to make the task of the eulogist at his funeral easier!  He was the best friend of Bunny Teale my elder brother, next door neighbours in Kent, all together at prep school and later in Abbeylands.

After sustaining a badly broken leg in rugby practice, however, with a term out of action, John decided to leave Sherborne early and train as a chartered accountant.  Having passed his Chartered Accountancy finals and completed his delayed national service in the Gunners, John spent his working life in the glass business with his father in the family firm, James Clark & Eaton, of which later he became managing director.  Following an accident in 1974 he gave up the reins and went into a career in stained glass having seen the potential after a visit to the Arabian Gulf states.  He then bought a 100 year old London based studio which had fallen on hard times during the recession but began to have doubts ….“after a year in which I had been unable to find any work in the Middle East although having been warned of the difficulties, I got three large jobs in a month, one in a Dubai hotel which was entered by the client in the Guinness Book of Records as the tallest stained glass mural in the world!”  The firm was revivified with the older craftsmen bringing on the young intake, making the business competitive and successful, leading in 1994 to the Queen’s Award for Export.

John was an enthusiastic musician all his life having learned the French horn with the Yeovil Salvation Army band (not in the School since the then musical director didn’t apparently approve of brass instruments in the music school!). He went on to play for years in his local orchestra.

In retirement John was for many years the treasurer of the Oxted Link Association and during his tenure the Association received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.  In spite of hisgrowing disabilities, John remained cheerful and interested with his wife, Jean, in their family of three children and six grandchildren.

Postscript.  Other OS of similar vintage may care to know that during his stint at Mons OCTU before joining the Gunners, John marched in the 1953 Coronation procession on a very wet day alongside the writer of these notes (then a cadet in the Sovereign’s Company at Sandhurst).

Michael Teale

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