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David Nicholas Jones Family

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Harry Slaney Call Up Papers 1916

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Harry Slaneys WWI Papers

Nancy (Nan) Slaney was born on 8th July 1923 in West Hallam, Derbyshire, the daughter of Harry and Alice Slaney. Although Nan was an only child, she regarded her 2 cousins, Dick and Geoff, as her brothers, being close in age and location when growing up in West Hallam. Nan always laughed that her mother was less than thrilled about the consequences of her spending the majority of her time with 2 boys, especially when she happened to exclaim at the dinner table one day, “I don’t bloody know!”

Nan passed an entrance exam for Business College, but being a dutiful daughter, she left school at 14 years old to help support her parents, taking a job at the Raleigh Cycle Company in Nottingham in the Gradual Payments Section. There were about 100 girls in an open plan office working on noisy comptometers, and Nan cycled the 18 mile round trip everyday, something she wasn’t very fond of!

Nan had hopes of being a cook, artist or hairdresser. However, her parents insisted on Nan having ‘a reliable income,’ so she attended Night School in Ilkeston, 4 nights per week, to learn shorthand, typing and book-keeping. She went on to work at the Local Electricity Board, and later the Derby and Notts Electric Power Company, where she met her future husband, Ken Jones.

Nan and Ken married in 1945, and when Ken left the RAF in 1949, Ken & Nan took over a pub, The Red Hart Inn at Misterton near Doncaster. Nan loved it at the pub as she could indulge her catering skills. They worked hard for 2 years and built up a good reputation. During their time at The Red Hart, Nan and Ken celebrated the birth of their only son, Nick in 1951.

Not long after Nick’s birth, Nan and Ken set off for pastures new and moved to Canada, where Ken found work as a technical author, and Nan took up waitressing. Nan remembers getting into trouble on her first night for filling up the sugar containers with salt! Later Nan was taken on by Captain Loudermilk at a Canadian Airforce Ordinance Depot, a job she loved.

In 1954 Nan, Ken and Nick returned to West Hallam and in 1961 Ken’s new job took the family to Galmpton in Devon.

In 1965 Nan was appointed by Mine & Quarry Services Ltd and was selling explosives over the phone! Jennie always used to enjoy telling her friends that her Gran was an arms dealer! Nan enjoyed the work and became great friends with Ernie and his wife. Meanwhile, Nick followed in his father’s footsteps, joining the Airforce in 1969, where he remained until 1993, earning his Long Service & Good Conduct medal.

In 1971 Nan and Ken divorced and Nan married Geoff Eaton. The building work on Sundowner, the lovely bungalow on the hill at Holcombe was also completed in 1971 and Nan & Geoff moved in. Sadly, for Nan, Geoff died of angina after only 7 happy years together during which they spent many happy times in France and other foreign climes.

In 1984, Nan’s grand-daughter Jennie was born, with whom she shared a special relationship. Although Jennie hasn’t quite managed to master her Gran’s brilliant cooking skills, she has followed in her footsteps by starting her working life with an energy company where she can put her degree in French to good use.

Memories of Nan...

  • A caring and thoughtful mother.
  • A loyal wife, moving jobs and addresses several times to support husband’s career.
  • A wonderful & devoted grandmother to Jennie.
  • A Number 1 mother-in-law - caring and guiding - even through divorce.
  • A great sense of humour - she had a contagious laugh, and was someone who could always see the funny side of a bad situation.
  • Never judgmental - she had an intrinsic understanding of the human condition, and always saw the best in people.
  • A fantastic cook - especially those biscuits! She prepared meals at the Castle Inn, catered at weddings, and made her son’s wedding cake.
  • A brilliant home-maker - Sundowner was always spotlessly clean, yet still warm and inviting.
  • An elegant lady with an excellent dress sense, right to the end.
  • A very brave lady - even in the face of death - still thinking of others.
  • Always cheerful and bright - no matter how poorly - never complaining.

In the short time at Torbay, the nurses commented that she had won all of their hearts.
Always saying how lucky she was to have such wonderful friends and neighbours.
Nan can never be replaced and will always be in our hearts.


Nan Eaton Funeral Service

- K. W. Jones. Epitaph -

My father was one of three children. He was bom in 1922 and was the eldest also having two sisters both of whom died from diphtheria in their early years. Times were very hard as his mother struggled trying to cope supporting the family. His father, a coal miner, lay in bed with a broken back, the result of a mining accident. Money was in short supply and his mother and father worked as hard as they could often doing seven, 16 hour days a week just to survive. KWJ achieved a place at the local Grammar School and passed out with top grades, unheard of in a very working class environment at that time !

From an early age KWJ was passionate about aeroplanes, and whenever he had free time he went to Hucknall Airfield just to watch the aeroplanes and became intent on a future in aviation. This did not happen, right away, his first job took him to the local electricity board but that was never going to satisfy his ambitions.

At 15 he joined the RAF as an Apprentice at Halton in Bucks and passed out as the best Cadet in his entry. He progressed through the ranks and as an Engine / Airframe fitter spent any spare time flying with serving aircrew when it was possible. He had a posting to the Middle East at RAF Heliopolis in Egypt where he worked in aircraft salvage and recovery. Again however he wanted to fly and eventually became accepted for Pilot training with the Royal Air Force. The ‘war effort’ required pilots, as many of those in the war service died during the bombing campaign in Germany. He trained in Rhodesia and was awarded his wings. He was by now a Flight Sergeant Pilot. This rank was later removed and all his compatriots were given new grades, known as “Pilot 2’s”. He flew a variety of aircraft and was involved heavily after the war in the Berlin airlift flying Dakota’s between Gatow (Berlin), Lubeck (Poland) and the UK. He became a 2nd Pilot and transferring goods from Coal, Post, POW’s and livestock down the hazardous air corridors of the post war Russia. He was awarded a “Green Endorsement”. This was for a rescue mission when his aircraft went down with mechanical trouble outside the narrow air corridors.

After the war he went to Canada with his new family but couldn’t settle and came back after 2 years. His technical expertise was easily transferable and he became a ‘Technical Author’ with Rolls Royce at Derby.

In 1961 he moved with his family to Devon to take up a Publicity Managerial job in a company manufacturing aircraft engine blades, and developing the first large earth moving machinery in Quarry sites. He developed Marketing and Sales skills and this led him into the double glazing industry from which he eventually retired.

Always an active man, KWJ had active hobbies, from flying to boating. He gained a Commercial Pilots license and a ‘Royal Yachting Association’ ‘Masters-Certificate’. He loved photography and became an active member of a local video making club and an active member at a nearby marina. He had a wide circle of friends and would always help them where he could. He loved writing and music and had literature published locally - but sadly never finished a book he wanted to write. He loved art and classical and modem music.

KWJ moved back to Derbyshire in 1978 to look after his widowed mother and to give what support he could to his family.

He was thrilled to have a grand daughter ‘Jenny’, who he loved so much, and was so proud of her academic achievements. Again he always took an interest in her education and life and it is sad that his life has been taken away from him at his wonderful age of 81. KWJ had a full and active life and did not enjoy good health in the last few years of his life. He gave a great deal to local society by way of encouragement; he raised money, and was an active member of the Royal Air Force Association. He would want to say thank you to you all for helping him enjoy the lifestyle he wanted. He will be sadly missed by his family and friends.

This poem is a reflection of how he would want to be remembered:-


Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Hymn:- “I Vow to Thee My Country”




David Nicholas Jones (Son)

Jones family Grave

RayAnn Memories

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