A day boy at Shebbear in the 1930s, John Mill would eventually hold a senior position with the Independent Television Authority. Not only was his office in Knightsbridge, London, but his flat overlooked Harrods.
When he left Shebbear at 15 in 1939 where under Leslie Johnson he enjoyed English, Maths, Music and Art and excelled at running, he worked firstly as a clerk with a meat company in Bude. In 1943 he was called up for military service and learned how to fly gliders after being conscripted into the 6th Airborne Division. On his way to Normandy by ship to take part in the D-Day landings he was injured by shrapnel. Once ashore, he was taken to a farmhouse to be treated. While there the farmer’s wife gave birth to a boy who was immediately named John.
After the war he entered Morley College, London, to study personnel Management. He joined the ITA as a personnel manager before being promoted to executive administrator.
In the mid-1950s he returned home to help on the family’s 400-acre farm at Walter’s moor, Shebbear. Five years later he decided to become a probation officer and contacted the ITA for a reference. Instead, they invited him back to work for them again and he stayed until taking early retirement to look after his parents. After their deaths he lived in Cyprus for several years before settling in Westward Ho!
John, a gifted painter in both oils and water colours, died in January 2008, aged 83.
(We are grateful to Reflecting Shebbear, the village magazine, for the biographical details in the this obituary)