Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Father - Here's to You!

Major John 'Jack'Joseph Gerrard,  BEM. DSM  c 1970
Oman Gendarmerie

Gerrard, J J
Oman Gendarmerie
Theatre of Combat or Operation:
Foreign to British-Oman
The Sultan's Distinguished Service Medal (Gallantry)


HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN has been graciously pleased to approve that the under-named be Mentioned in Despatches for Distinguished Services in South Arabia:

Captain (Quartermaster) John Joseph GERRARD, BEM (478467), Royal Corps of Signals.

Mentioned in Despatches several times

I would have to write a book to tell you about my father but what I can say in a few words is that he was a colourful character, a disciplinarian, an achiever,  never one to take 'no' for an answer, one not always easy to live up to,   compassionate, respected by his peers and loved by his family. So many words to describe this military, highly decorated man of many talents.  Hot tempered in youth, mellowed with age, adventurer, great conversationalist with a fantastic sense of humour.

My love of books and music was inherited from this multi faceted man who had a permanent twinkle in his eye and a ferocious appetite for life.  He packed a great deal into his 65 years on this earth and on Father's Day as every day, almost 26 years after his death I still miss him terribly.  Gone too early because a medical condition was not detected during a compulsory, annual company medical.

I imagine him in heaven, book in hand listening to maybe Lehar, Shirley Bassey, Tchaikovsky, Tom Jones, The Sand Pipers or Verdi with my mother at his side and his forever faithful Golden Labrador at his feet.

I will raise a glass to you today Daddy and remember the laughter, the love, the reprimands (yes there were reprimands when my best was not good enough!) the encouragement, the debates, the heated discussions,  and the time we did spend together as we got to know each other and came to understand one another over the 65 years of a wonderful if at times trying, father and daughter relationship.

RSM 'Jolly' Jack Gerrard, 7th Signal Regt, Herford Germany c 1963 

Here's to you!


  1. He is utterly dashing! How lovely your tribute to him on Father's Day .....

  2. Yes he was and we all knew it! He wasn't a tall man (5'7 1/2" - we we're never allowed to forget the 1/2"!!!) but when he walked into a room, he filled it!

  3. There is such joy in your Jubilee blog cover, Bee. It is carried through the puddle dancing of your poem and spotlighted in the fine details of the tribute to your father. I love your whole presentation! Thank you for sharing.


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