Jack Westlake was born and brought up in Chelmsford and married in the town in 1930, going on to have three sons. He was a Territorial and went to France early in the war with the RAOC. He was killed during the retreat to Dunkirk. His home was in Ockelford Avenue.
John George 'Jack' WESTLAKE, Private, Royal Army Ordnance Corps
Killed in France. Aged 32
John George Jack’ Westlake was born on 20th March 1909 in Chelmsford, the son of George Westlake (1882-1939) and Annie Westlake (nee Howe) (1885-1939). He was baptised at St, John’s Church, Moulsham on 18th August 1909. At the time his father was a mechanic living at 6 Mildmay Terrace in Goldlay Road, Moulsham, Chelmsford.
He had four siblings: Dorothy Ethel Westlake (1909-1978) (who was baptised the same day as John at St. John’s Church), Grace Emma Westlake (1910-1947), Stanley J.. Westlake (1916-1958), and Willian=m Frederick Westlake (1923-1956).
The 1911 census found three year-old resident with his parents and two sisters still at 6 Mildmay Terrace in Goldlay Road. At the time his father was a mechanic in the electrical department at Hoffmann’s bearings factory in Chelmsford.
Later that year Jack was knocked down as he ran across the road by a trim-car as the vehicle drove down Springfield Hill, Chelmsford. The machine crashed into a wall after hitting Jack, who was not seriously hurt. The driver was bruised and his lady passenger who was thrown into the road was scratched and bruised, The tri-car was badly damaged.
In 1926 Jack appeared before Chelmsford magistrates along with Jack Whent, and both 18 year-olds pleaded guilty to gambling - they and two others had been found playing cards on a Sunday afternoon. Each was fined fifteen shillings.
In the summer of 1930 Jack married Gladys Dorothy Ashford (1907-1989) in Chelmsford and the couple went on to have three sons.
During the Second World War John served as Private 7587758 in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, having probably been called up as a Territorial at the start of the war. He had obtained special leave from France to attend his father’s funeral in November 1939. Jack was died from wounds near Calais on 28th May 1940 and today lies in Grave 20 in Row 1 at the Oye-Plage Communal Cemetery in Pas de Calais, France.
At the time of his death Jack’s home was at 28 Ockelford Avenue, Boarded Barns Estate, Chelmsford. He had been living there since at least 1938.