War bomb blast survivor Claude turns 100 - The Solihull Observer

War bomb blast survivor Claude turns 100

Solihull Editorial 19th Nov, 2016   0

A SOLIHULL man who survived one of the biggest bombings raids on British soil celebrated his 100th birthday on Friday (November 18).

Claude Jenks was on duty with the Auxiliary Fire Service as a spotter looking out for enemy aircraft at Reynold Chain in November 1940 when he was directed to shelter at Coventry station when the German bombers teared the city apart.

Prior to this he served in the RAF when the war started but he was demobbed early as the company he worked for, an aircraft supplier, had a huge loss of skilled workers in the call up it couldn’t meet production targets due to shortages from Tool rooms.

Before and after the war Claude worked at Brooke Tool, Reynolds Chain Turner Brothers and at Dunlop in Coventry.

In 1940 he married his sweetheart Mary Moran at St Margaret’s Olton – the pair were due to marry at St Mary’s in Acocks Green but the ceremony was moved after the church was bombed.

Claude was born in Crayford, Kent, and grew up in Acocks Green.

He went to Acocks Green School and Yardley Grammar School and he moved to Shirley 60 years ago.

He has two children – Mike and Maureen – three grandchildren – Tim, Emma and Lucy – and two great-grandchildren – Georgia and Summer -who he will be celebrating this momentous occasion with over the weekend at St George’s Care home.

Over the years Claude has enjoyed playing cricket and and bowls at Blossomfield sports club and playing snooker at the Shirley Club.

He puts not smoking down as the secret to his longevity but his mother felt it was all the bananas he ate.

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