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Mr John (Jack) Leonard Ovens

29 July 1906 - 31 December 2014

Resident of The Royal Star & Garter Homes, Richmond & Surbiton, August 2012 – December 2014

Jack was born in Teddington, Middlesex, in 1906.  He died aged 108 and was believed to be the 49th oldest person in the UK.

Jack joined the Army at the age of 18.  He served in The Royal Dragoons regiment between 1926 and 1932, starting as a Trooper.  He was later promoted to Corporal of Horse and was eventually in charge of 43 Army horses.  In 1929, he was posted to Secunderabad, India, where he recalled being impressed by the uniformed private armies of the Nizam of Hyderabad and the other fabulously wealthy maharajas of the time.

Jack served his country again during the Second World War, retraining as a tank driver and serving in Egypt and then Italy.

The love of horses which began in his early Army career continued throughout Jack’s lifetime.  He came to live at The Royal Star & Garter Homes in August 2012 and, in keeping with the Charity’s commitment to helping our residents enjoy life to the full, Jack’s 107th and 108th birthdays were celebrated with special equine visits together with a party at the Home and birthday card from our patron, Her Majesty the Queen.

Jack was a much loved resident of The Royal Star & Garter Homes, passing away on New Years Eve, 2014. He will be greatly missed by his family, and by all the staff and residents of The Royal Star & Garter Homes.