In memory of John Wilkins

Obituary: John Wilkins.

John was born in 1942, in a mining village in South Wales. After a technical education, he became an apprentice with a television repair company.

On completion of his apprenticeship he joined the army, firstly in the infantry, and secondly in the Royal Corps of Mechanical and Electrical Engineers. He served in the army for some 22 years.

I first met John when we both attended a year long advanced course in electronics and computing at the Chelmer Institute in Chelmsford in 1981. On completion of the course we were both employed at Acorn Computers in Cambridge.

Since we lived in more or less adjacent villages, John became a frequent and regular visitor. He and I ran half-marathon races together, which required much training. John was very fit, and would make regular visits to the local gym.

After my wife’s death in 2007, John would visit and advise me on all manner of things. He was instrumental in introducing me to Cam-Russ, and we enjoyed attending the classes in the Russian language led by Marina.

With his passing I have lost my best friend and miss him greatly.

Ian Niblock
24 Sep. 2012

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Click here for some more photos of John Wilkins.

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John Wilkins, (1942-2012), one of the most dedicated members of CamRuSS, passed away on 23 September 2012 after a heart attack followed by a short illness.

John, a former Royal Army officer, developed interest in Russia, and especially, its military history, while he was in the Army. A few years ago he started attending my Russian language courses with his best friend Ian and soon achieved the GCSE level. During his visit to Russia in 2006 he learned a lot of fascinating facts about Russian history that he shared with us in the class and, later on, with CamRuSS Committee members. Having a Welsh background, John managed to discover an extraordinary story about a Welshman who founded a Ukrainian city of Donetsk and recently organised a special event in CamRuSS – a meeting with the author of the book The Iron Tsar, that many members enjoyed. Perhaps John will be best remembered by all the members as our excellent Outdoor Activities Officer in the CamRuSS Committee. He was so meticulous and pedantic in his preparations, that all our barbecues and traditional Mushroom walks were always perfectly organised.

Unlike many Englishmen (or Welshmen), John loved Russian food and with his friend Ian enjoyed traditional Russian pancakes I cooked for them…

I visited John at hospital in August and talked to him over the phone when he was back home. He assured me he was getting better…

He will be always missed and no Mushroom walk will ever be the same without John Wilkins.

Marina Burrell
25 September 2012

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One Response to In memory of John Wilkins

  1. Christine Watts says:

    I was sorry to hear this news. John and Rosemary Edridge are away at present, but I am sure they would also like to send their commiserations to John’s family.

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