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Town bids farewell to 'Mr Hungerford' Jack Williams

Tributes paid to civic stalwart

HUNGERFORD is mourning the loss of one of its well-loved sons.

Jack Williams died, aged 92, on Thursday.

Mr Williams – affectionately known as ‘Mr Hungerford’ – devoted his life to public service and was awarded the Freedom of the Town of Hungerford in 2013.

A British Empire Medal recipient, he was a town councillor for 45 years, mayor for five years, trustee of Town & Manor for 30 years and governor of John O’Gaunt School for 20 years, 15 of them as chairman.

His voluntary work has included presiding over the Hungerford Fire Station Charity, being a Methodist Church deacon and stalwart, president of Hungerford branch of the Royal British Legion since 2004, founder of Hungerford Twinning Association, representing Hungerford Town Football Club and serving as president of Hungerford Cricket Club.

The town council will dedicate a minute’s silence to his memory at the next full council meeting on Monday.

Town mayor Helen Simpson said: “I’m personally very saddened to hear of dear Jack’s passing, but it was a very full life, well lived.

“It’s such a huge loss to the whole town.

“There was no one with more local knowledge than Jack.

“I have my lovely memories of him and I send my condolences to the family.”

Mrs Simpson said it was a “huge honour and privilege” to have been asked to deliver the eulogy at the funeral.

The Town & Manor of Hungerford said in a statement: “We are sad to hear that Jack Williams has died aged 92. He was a Town & Manor trustee for many years, a John O’Gaunt governor, a staunch supporter of Hungerford Cricket Club and their president for years.

“He was on the Hungerford Town Council for years and mayor twice.

“He was very involved with The Twinning Association and The Hungerford Fire Brigade.

“He was the main instigator of Charnham Park and justly proud of his achievement.

“Caroline Franklin wrote a book on Jack in 2001, A Man of Hungerford, a good read. He was a hugely enthusiastic supporter of our town.

“Hungerford won’t seem the same without him.

“Rest in peace Jack.”

Mr Williams is survived by his two children and four grandchildren.

The funeral service will be subject to coronavirus restrictions, but there are plans for the hearse to pass through the town for people to pay their respects.

* See next week’s Newbury Weekly News for details.

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