Mr John Ross

MR John Ross, of Meadow Court, Ardglass, passed away in King’s Castle Nursing Home at the grand age of 103.

His funeral mass in St Nicholas’s Church, which was celebrated Fr Gerry McCloskey, took place on July 3.

Mr Ross, who was a widower, is survived by his daughters Patricia (Smyth), Joan (Jacobs), Anne (McDarby) and Maureen (Quinn) and sons Raymond, Patsy, Gerard and Maurice. He is also survived by 26 grandchildren 47 great grandchildren and six great great grandchildren.

Mr Ross, who was a well-known and popular figure in Ardglass was born on July 4, 1915, near Killough. He went to St Joseph’s Primary School and his family carted herring from the harbour to Dunbar’s store for curing.

Leaving school in 1929, he got a job on a Coney Island farm, working-12 hour days seven days a week delivering milk.

Not long afterwards, hearing of young men living locally joining the army, Mr Ross wanted a taste of adventure and in January 1935 signed up to Royal Berkshire Regiment.

After training in Reading, five months later he was off to Egypt and the Suez Canal. It was a far from glamorous journey on old merchant ships and conditions wouldn’t be much better when his regiment was sent to Lucknow in India.

A spell in the Royal Army Medical Corps would make up the last three years of his 11-year stint in the armed services.

It was during a period of leave in 1944, not long before returning to civilian life, that he met Rita Magee while both were waiting for the train to Newcastle.

The couple kept in touch after chatting on the train and not long afterwards they were married in Dunsford.

Mr Ross worked as a stoker at the RAF base at Bishopscourt and also had a number of different jobs. He was good with his hands and could turn them to everything from picking potatoes to painting and decorating.

His hobbies included gardening, walking and music. During his time in the army he also enjoyed boxing and football.

Mr Ross will be missed by many local people as well as by his wide family circle.