The Ross-on-Wye branch of the Royal British Legion pays tribute to Private Tim Jenkins

By Ross Gazette reporter in Feature

Ross-on-Wye Royal British Legion are honoured to be organising the Commemoration of the 35th Anniversary of the Falklands War.

It has a very special place in the hearts of many who live in Ross-on-Wye – especially Tudorville where Private Timothy Jenkins lived.

Timothy was 19-years-old when he went to the Falklands, serving in the third Battalion of the Parachute Regiment (2 Platoon A Company).

When the Ceasefire was announced on TV, his family immediately began to plan a welcome home party – one minute they were celebrating and then came that dreaded knock on the door – this has affected their lives forever, and they were told that Timothy had been killed in action.

Timothy was always a special boy and he is remembered by his school friends, his football mates, the cadets and, of course, his family. At the age of 12 he was the youngest qualified football referee.

He adored his dad, John, and at the age of 17, he followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Parachute Regiment, which made John so proud.

After his training, he did one tour in Northern Ireland – it was then he made his dad promise to bring his body home if anything happened. Like all parents, John told him he was being silly, but he agreed to Timothy’s wishes.

Timothy was later sent to the Falklands – when his family saw him off, they didn’t know what heartache would follow.

True to his word, after Timothy’s death, John and the family fought to have his body flown home, Tim was repatriated.

The funeral Service was held in St Mary’s Church in November 1982 – the church was full with many hundreds outside. The coffin was then put onto a gun carriage and Tim was taken back home to Tudorville, where he was given a full Military Funeral. What a sad day it must have been for so many, especially his parents John and Ann, brother Martyn and sisters Manda and Tracey.

Ann never got over losing her beloved son - it is thought that all the heartache brought on her illness and, on June 27th 1985, aged 44, she died, leaving John even more devastated.

John eventually found happiness again when he met Jean and they visited the Falklands on many occasions. SAMA 82 (South Atlantic Medal Association) and the Para’s have always been in close touch, and Tim’s close friends never forgot them. In fact, only two weeks before John died on November 16th 2012, four of them; Stuart Dover, Trevor Bradshaw, Jez Dillon and Dennis Nunn accompanied John and Jean to the Falklands Islands and they carried him practically everywhere.

The family will never forget the kindness and understanding they have received, which continues to this day.

Every year, John and the rest of Timothy’s family attended the Remembrance Service on The Prospect and laid a wreath in his memory. This continues ever year. What memories this must bring back of when Tim and Martyn were in the Cadets.

Just by chance, Margaret the Secretary of the Royal British Legion, who always tries to greet everyone, asked Martyn if he would like the Branch to do something to commemorate Tim, as it was the 35th Anniversary. He was quite overwhelmed. He told her that he wished his Dad was still alive because he would have been so proud.

This forthcoming Remembrance day on June 4th is, of course, for Tim, but will also honour all of those who lost their lives, and those who returned physically and mentally scarred.

Margaret commented: “Timothy’s dad and mum would have been so proud that the people of Ross-on-Wye, particularly those who live in Tudorville, will be showing their support and love on this very special day.”

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