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Am-dram favourite dies in hospital

PUBLISHED: 18:38 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:53 03 July 2010

STAR OF STAGE: Jack Bacon

STAR OF STAGE: Jack Bacon

A FORMER leading light in local amateur dramatics and sport, Jack Bacon of Gorleston, died on his 87th birthday.

Mr Bacon died on Monday at the James Paget University Hospital after being admitted four weeks ago suffering from a fractured hip, but later developed pneumonia.

A FORMER leading light in local amateur dramatics and sport, Jack Bacon of Gorleston, died on his 87th birthday.

Mr Bacon died on Monday at the James Paget University Hospital after being admitted four weeks ago suffering from a fractured hip, but later developed pneumonia.

He was born in Great Yarmouth in 1921 and attended St Nicholas Priory School where he became school vice captain, house captain and top boy. He played football for the school's first XI and excelled in athletics becoming the Norfolk County schoolboy's 220 yards champion.

When he left school he was employed with solicitors Chamberlin, Talbot and Bracey until he was called up at the outbreak of war with the Territorial Army, serving with the 4th Battalion of the Royal Norfolk Regiment achieving the rank of sergeant.

Once discharged, after a spell in Norwich, he joined Yarmouth magistrates' court where he served for 40 years, and clerk to the justices for Yarmouth, Cromer and North Walsham when he retired.

However, not one to settle into an easy retirement, Mr Bacon became chairman of the Yarmouth Victim Support scheme, a sposition he held for five years. He also served on various committees and was a member of Gorleston Probus Club.

He was a keen sportsman and even in later years played football, tennis, badminton, golf and bowls

For more than 60 years Mr Bacon has been a leading member of the Great Yarmouth Operatic and Dramatic Society holding various positions and was its chairman for a total of seven years.

He appeared in many stage shows and musicals and played the King of Siam in Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I in 1967. He was also responsible for directing over 26 of the society's most successful productions, including Annie and The Sound of Music.

Last November he and his wife Molly, 79, celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary and they were among 2,000 guests at a service in Westminster Abbey to mark 60 years of the Queen and Prince Philip getting married on the same day.

It was the third time they had attended royal services to mark their silver and golden wedding anniversaries.

At the diamond service last November they actually spoke to the Queen, and Prince Philip told Mr Bacon he was concerned about what he had heard about the tidal surges in Yarmouth.

Mr Bacon is survived by widow Molly, two daughters Janice and Wendy, two granddaughters Sarah and Emily and one great granddaughter Charlea.

His funeral is to take place at St Nicholas Parish Church, Yarmouth at 1.30pm on Tuesday, April 29.

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