John Henry Coventry
Served with Essex County Constabulary from Apr 23, 1923 and died on Jun 20, 1943.
Police Constable John Henry Coventry was the son of Charles William and Nellie Coventry and was born on 4th April 1900 at Forest Gate, London. He joined the Royal Navy as a fifteen year-old, serving from 27th September 1915 until his 23rd birthday. After leaving the navy he worked briefly as a kitchen hand at The London Hospital, Whitechapel Road in Bow, before joining Essex County Constabulary on 23rd April 1923.
Having completed training at Headquarters he was posted to Harwich from 22nd June 1923, and then to Elmstead from 6th January 1926. On 12th November 1927 he married Agnes. The couple went on to have at least five children - John William, Roy Charles, Valerie May, Colin Alan, and Pamela Rose Coventry.
Whilst at Elmstead, John was commended by the Justices at Mistley Petty Sessions (on 9th September 1931) 'for the manner in which he conducted enquires and presented the facts relating to a case of larceny at Elmstead' eight days earlier. He transferred to West Bergholt from 27th March 1935, before his final posting to the other end of the county, Grays, from 4th May 1939. John was recalled to the navy on 4th December 1939.
He died on Sunday, 20th June 1943, aged 43, at Durban in South Africa whilst serving as Petty Officer Regulating C/M 40309 on the depot/repair ship H.M.S. Wayland, Royal Navy. John was buried in Block F. Grave 354 at Durban (Stellawood) Cemetery in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa. His widow was granted a £30 per annum pension, with a further £30 per annum allowance for his five children under sixteen.
The 13,867 ton vessel had served as Antonia for the Cunard Line from 1922. It had been requisitioned from the Line in 1940 and commissioned in 1942 as 'Wayland', and allocated to Kilindini, Kenya where she served until 1945.