Jim Daddy: a Tribute

Jim Daddy










James (Jim) Daddy, who died on 3rd March 2010, lived in an Appleton Church Almshouse for the last 18 years of his life.

Born in Hull on 17th September 1921, Jim left school in 1935 and aged 14 joined the Merchant Navy. Like so many of his colleagues in the Merchant Navy, he then took an active part in the Second World War on the seas around the world – on ships to Cape Town, Murmansk, Montevideo, to name but a few locations.

He sailed in vessels carrying vital troops, food, fuel and equipment to wherever they were needed in the fight against the Axis alliance of Germany, Italy and Japan. Without the troops, food, fuel and munitions brought to Britain by the Merchant Navy, our armed forces would not have been able to fight.

Jim was aboard the Empire Barrie on D-Day taking supplies to Arromanches and remained in the Merchant Navy until 1962. He was awarded 5 medals including one from the Russians with a certificate signed by the Russian President.

In 1965 Jim married Diana Tompkins whom he had met in a pub in Hull. As some villagers will know, Diana and her parents lived in Appleton when her parents moved to 112 Netherton Road in 1932 – her mother’s maiden name was Enoch.

Jim and Diana moved to Oxford and when Diana died in 1990 she was buried in Appleton. Before Jim moved into the almshouse in Appleton he would travel from Oxford to Appleton many times each week to visit her grave: it was always a great consolation to him when he moved into the village that he was able to visit her daily.

In the late 1990s Dick Firniss, then headmaster of Appleton School, approached Jim to become “bus monitor” as several parents had been concerned about the walk by young children from the bus stop in Eaton Road to the school. Thus it was in the late 1990s and early 2000s Jim would be seen, whatever the weather – rain, cold and freezing conditions or sunshine – Jim would wait for the school bus and walk children along Church Road to Appleton School. He came to know the children by name and, with a cheery smile and a kind word, built rapport with many of them. It was a role he thoroughly enjoyed and for which many parents and children were grateful.

When the Community Shop first opened as a community shop in the year 2000, Jim would often be in the shop at crack of dawn helping sort the newspapers. Come lunchtime he would then be seen in the Thatched Tavern having his pint and “chaser” – a tot of rum!

On Tuesday 16th March 2010 he will have his funeral service in St Laurence Church, Appleton and be committed to a grave beside his wife. His daily travels will be over and he can now rest in peace.






















The Black Price: a ship on which Jim served.

BLACK PRINCE was built in 1955 by Burntisland Shipbuilding Co. at Burntisland with a tonnage of 3597grt, a length of 372ft, a beam of 52ft 11in and a service speed of 14.5 knots. She was delivered to Prince Line in March 1955 and had accommodation for 12 passengers.


Written by Graham Rose with help from his brother-in-law, Pete Tompkins, Roger Mitty and Claire Salmon.