Final farewell to fireman and fisherman after Covid delayed memorial
- Credit: Supplied by Barbara Wells
Family and friends are looking to finally gather and say a final farewell to a long-serving firefighter and man of the sea more than 16 months after he died.
Jack Wells died on March 14, 2020, aged 83, just as the first lockdown was imposed meaning they were only able to have a short funeral service at Caister and no wake, although a fire tender attended and stayed for the service.
As restrictions are eased a July memorial is being staged to honour his stalwart contribution.
Mr Wells served as a firefighter in Great Yarmouth for 22 years having joined alongside his identical twin brother David in 1963 - the first of three generations to man the town's pumps.
He retired aged 49 after suffering a back injury pulling a casualty from a car.
In the years that followed he worked as a commercial fisherman and took people out on deep sea fishing trips, and to see the seals at Scroby sands.
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He also had his own coach company at one time, mainly offering a shuttle service to and from airports.
He was also the manager of Coastwatch at Gorleston Pier for 12 years, keeping a close eye on the waters he loved and delivering talks on his eventful career to local groups.
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However, shortly after retirement, he was diagnosed with a rare muscle wasting disease Charcot Marie Tooth.
His wife of 61 years Barbara Wells said he was born in Southgates Road, Great Yarmouth, and had two sisters and three brothers.
One of his brothers, Kenneth, was tragically killed aged 12 in an air raid and his twin brother David died aged 66, having set up as a mackerel fisherman in Cornwall.
All the siblings went on to develop the same hereditary condition.
Jack was followed into the fire and rescue service by his son who retired two years ago after 30 years, and his grandson who has spent 16 years with the Yarmouth brigade after starting out in London.
Meanwhile David's middle son, Jack's nephew, is still serving at a high rank.
Mrs Wells said her husband had been disabled for some time but remained upbeat - his love of all things to do with the sea and fishing undimmed.
"He was very outdoorsy and very outgoing. We were total opposites," she said.
"He knew a lot of people and did talks all round the pubs."
Mr Wells leaves three children and nine grandchildren.