Jack Denham

6 February 1931 - 12 July 2009


Jack was the eldest child in the Denham family, which included his mum Martha, dad John and his brothers and sister Ron, Len and Shirley and took on the role of father figure of the family after his dad was killed in action in the War. Jack adopted this role with great pride and was universally respected by family and friends.

As a boy he was evacuated during the war to Wales and Yorkshire with his siblings and after the war he went to Chatham Technical School with aspirations of becoming a teacher. He put these aspirations to one side in order to ensure that his family received the best possible support, a selfless act that is typical of the kind of man Jack was.

Jack joined Chatham dockyard as a Marine Fitter apprentice and became a very skilled engineer, particularly specialising in steam. The skills he acquired in the dockyard were of life-long benefit to all his family and friends. During his retirement he used these skills to help refurbish the WW2 steam tug TID 164 with his friends Martin, Keith, Dave, Wobbly and Mike.

Apart from his time in the dockyard Jack had a varied working life that included joining the Navy and Servis as a domestic appliance service engineer before starting his own domestic servicing business. He finished his working life at Kingsnorth power station, retiring as a work study engineer.

Jack was married to his childhood sweetheart Babs and had three children; Deborah, Lee and Warren and along the way acquired a son-in-law Paul and a daughter-in-law Carey and four grandchildren, Ross, Gary, Lauren and Mark.

Jack had a combination of attributes that encompassed strong traditional values, excellent organisational skills and had a list for every day and everything. He had an astute mathematical brain coupled with scrupulous booking keeping skills and a memory that surpassed any of his family, even during the late acute stages of his illness.

He had a dry sense of humour that he tailored for his audience - becoming a witty host at reunion events and showing a gentler warmer humour with his family and friends, which shone through even during the last stages of his life.
He was naturally a very reserved person at home. This all changed with the arrival of his grandchildren. He loved their company and took great pride, interest and satisfaction in their lives and achievements.

Jack also followed what was going on in the world as an avid watcher of news and had many interests. He had a love of old British motorbikes owning a Francis Barnett that he shared with his friend John and also had an enthusiastic interest in War history and memorabilia, and was a keen gardener growing all sorts of vegetables in his garden and greenhouse.

Jack was hugely industrious and practically clever, freely passing his skills on to friends and family.


1946 -1951 Aged 15 - joined Chatham Dockyard as an Apprentice Engine Fitter.
Subjects studied included Maths, Mechanics, Science, English, Heat, Metallurgy, Electrical and Technical drawing.

1952 Joined Royal Navy as Engine Room Artificer (ERA). Invalided out

1953 Rejoined Chatham Dockyard as an Engineer on dockyard tugs

1960 Joined Wilkins and Mitchell (Servis) as a Supervising Engineer

1969 Started his own domestic appliance business with a partner

1975 Joined CEGB as a Plant Engineer. Later transferred to Work Study and after privatisation to Powergen he worked as a Technical Coordinator

1992 Retired from Powergen