I’m sorry to have to tell you that John Endall died on Saturday morning. He didn’t recover from his fall in the autumn of last year, despite having had a new hip replacement. His daughter, Penny told me that he had been in Kidderminster hospital for quite a while, for recuperation, but had developed various infections and also hadn’t really been given enough physio to avoid muscle wastage. The latter meant that he hadn’t the strength to attempt to walk towards the end.
I visited him in Redditch hospital a few weeks after his operation, and he seemed quite chipper at the time. I told him that only the previous day I had been walking near Rutland Water and had come across the pub in Whissendine where we used to stay whilst doing Gardeners’ World from Barnsdale. Needless to say many ‘fireside O.B. yarns’ were told after that!
John worked at Alexandra Palace after the war and then Carpenter Road and later Pebble Mill. Known to many as ‘Biggles’, he had a good innings reaching 90 years and was active with swimming and sailing throughout his retirement.
The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:
Tim Dann: Dear old John, God Bless…RIP….”Biggles” it said in the link above…I remember well entering the bar when it was on the second floor at PM…in a ‘Posse’ of Designers & Design assistants looking for mischief…. & John, leaning on the bar, giving it ‘rock all’ about the war & his time in ‘Fighters.’ & the Battle of Britain…..”Bloody hell!” cried one of our company rather uncharitably…”Not another one of the bloody ‘Few!!’….you buggers must have been eight to a Spitfire!”….John nearly swallowed his pipe, spilt his bitter down his front before collecting himself & raging at our raiding party about being lucky and what the ‘Few’ had sacrificed before stomping off in a haze of blue pipe smoke….No lasting damage done (save perhaps from the passive smoking of the era!)…just another example of the amazing relationship that we all had with each other during certainly my time at PM which was 73 – 79…….Off into the ‘wild blue yonder’ John…Give em hell!
Katie Cooper: ‘Such a lovely ‘wicked’ man…… Always a giggle…RIP’
Diane Reid: ‘He was the pilot for my first ever glider flight – he also taught me a thing or two about OBs – a real gent.’