Fernhurst church overflows to say goodbye to John

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FRIENDS came from as far away as Switzerland and Scotland for a service at St Margaret’s Church in Fernhurst to celebrate the life of John Turner who died on October 14 aged 70 after a brave battle against cancer.

The congregation overflowed into the parish room and bright colours were the order of the day for the 400 who attended, adding to the warmth of the event.

Born in 1945, John won scholarships both to his public school and into the Royal Navy.

He flew Tiger Moths and sailed, a hobby he continued for the rest of his life.

Qualifying as a helicopter pilot and a Naval diver and hovercraft pilot, he joined HMS Blake and others, being awarded an MBE for mine clearance in the Suez Canal and doing loan service in Qatar.

He served in Canberra in the Falklands and after retiring, moved to Fernhurst, with his wife Judith, and step daughter Southerly.

John lived in the village for just over 30 years and joined many village activities with enthusiasm and accuracy.

Being good at, and enjoying, figures, he served as treasurer of various activities including the Scouts, the village hall, the newly founded tennis club and for the last few years the Revels, where the job included publicity, allowing him to draw up immaculately designed notices and partly satisfying his artistic aims and ambitions.

These were further satisfied by painting scenery for the Haslemere Thespians, Players and even Opera South.

The twice he ventured onto the stage, however, attracted no good reviews but allowed him to dress-up, an activity put to full flower at the annual Fernhurst New Year’s Day drag hockey match when players would gather suitably attired and fortified by bottles of port and brandy.

Home activities centred on his dogs, taking them to most of the local hostelries, beating, beagling and watching the hunt and racing at Goodwood. John was happy talking to everyone and will be missed by all who knew him.

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