Fun-loving paratrooper veteran who relished life as a site manager passes away aged 95
07 Sep 2021

A kind-hearted former site manager at a national housebuilder who was one of the last WWII paratrooper veterans, has sadly passed away, aged 95. Keen boxer George Jones, from Tipton, became a skilled carpenter after the war before joining Bovis Homes, now part of Vistry Group, in 1979 as a finishing foreman ?" preferring outdoor work to being in an office. He worked alongside his sons at the housebuilder, staying with the company until he retired in 1992. George, who boxed for Tipton, progressed up to site manager and covered developments in Kidderminster, Solihull, Bridgnorth and Redditch where he worked with his sons Steve and Trevor, both maintenance operatives. George kept his love of boxing throughout his life and met one of his heroes, Henry Cooper, at a Bovis Homes event at the Grosvenor House in London, returning home with a signed photograph. He enjoyed the social side of the job and attended every company event along with his wife of 73 years, Bessie, also 95 and who lives in Tividale. Steve, who worked for Bovis Homes for ten years, said: “My dad admired the people he worked with and also the management side of his work when he progressed to that point in his career. He also appreciated being able to work with Trevor and I and we always had a good time while we worked. My mum and dad thoroughly enjoyed the work dos, they attended every one they could ?" they always had a great time and loved what Bovis Homes stood for, especially its family values. “When my dad was a youngster he worked in an office as a clerk and he didn’t like it ?" he wanted to work outside and as part of a team and that’s what he did. It was the camaraderie at Bovis Homes that made it fun, there were great people who worked very hard. I worked there for ten years and Trevor did until he retired, we were all employed by the company for a long time.” George retired and then re-joined the housebuilder to work for another two years after being asked by his area build manager. He was also a very good calligrapher and would create cards for family and friends for birthdays, weddings, Christmas and other special occasions. A big fan of art and creating things, he would make wheelbarrows, benches, birdboxes and birdhouses in his spare time. Bessie said: “When George joined the veteran regiment there were a lot of people who received a wheelbarrow from him! We had great times together, the Bovis Homes work dos were a real highlight and we had some wonderful holidays ?" I treasure them all, he was a great man.” Bessie’s brother was also in the 1st Airborne Division and that’s what led to her introduction to George, who was in the 3rd battalion anti-tank parachute regiment. The pair were married on 22nd May 1948. They treasured their holidays and their favourite destination was Portugal. George also leaves behind his three grandchildren Christopher, Ryan and Robbie, and two great grandchildren, Freya and Jimmy, who he was extremely proud of. Bovis Homes plc became Vistry Group in 2020, but the brand is still going strong at locations around the country. Keith Carnegie, CEO of Vistry’s Housebuilding division, said: “We are very sorry to hear of George’s passing, we have enjoyed seeing the old photographs and reading about his time at Bovis Homes and he was by all accounts a wonderful employee who was dedicated to his work and family. Vistry has a strong family ethos and we are glad George, Steve and Trevor had long careers with us. Our deepest sympathies go out to all of George’s family and friends.”

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