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Johnny Chrimes

John Chrimes was born on the 7th April 1931 at Chester, Cheshire, England. He was the first of six children. Unfortunately tragedy was to strike the household: on 8th January 1944 his mum Gertrude and baby sister Ethel both died; his mum was only 32 years old and John was only 12. Tragedy struck again in 1946 when John's sister Irene was killed in a car accident aged 6.

Johnny (as he now became known) moved from Cheshire to live in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England in the 1930's with his grandparents and family. Johnny was an excellent boxer and ended up being a sparring partner for the famous Turpin brothers who lived in Leamington Spa. He was also an excellent footballer and was in all the local teams. Now being a bit of a "Jack the lad" he liked to have a drink and was frequently seen drunk around the town - but this played to his advantage. In those days local fairs often came to town, and they had boxing booths where massive fellas took on the locals for money and large bets would often exchange hands. Johnny would often take on these boxers, but he had a trick up his sleeve. On the first night of the fair, absolutely drunk as a lord he would get hammered into the ground. The next day he would return stone sober and would get large bets off the locals that he could knock out the big fella. Of course being sober and having sparred with the Turpins he managed to knock his opponent out, much to the dismay of the crowds, and earn himself a fortune and a "don't mess with me" reputation!!

Johnny married in 1955 and had two daughters and one son. Unfortunately history repeated itself and he died in 1963 aged 32, the same age that his mum had died. He had a short and sometimes tragic life but definitely a memorable one. People still talk about him nearly 50 years on.

Sharon P Chrimes

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