Obituary: Former Heywood police Chief John ‘Jack’ Wilson dies

Date published: 19 August 2015

Former Heywood police chief and war hero John ‘Jack’ Wilson has died at the age of 91. Mr Wilson died in his sleep on Thursday 13 August after a brief battle with lung cancer.

Born in Clitheroe to parents John and Elizabeth, Mr Wilson joined the Royal Navy at the age of 18. He was a telegraphist which was a role that saw him serve on HMS Cooke as part of Arctic convoys.

He stayed in the Navy for over three years and due to his work he went on to receive the Arctic Star medal in 2013.

Upon leaving the Navy, Mr Wilson embarked on a career in the police and joined Lancashire Constabulary and then Greater Manchester Police. He served in the police for 31 years and came to Heywood in 1964.

When he came to Heywood, the town was described as a “tough town” with Mr Wilson asked to turn things around – something he was very proud of doing.

During his career in Heywood, Mr Wilson was Heywood’s Inspector and then Chief Inspector and worked on several high profile cases, including stopping an IRA gunman and rescuing a five-year-old girl who had been kidnapped.

Mr Wilson was a long-serving member of St Luke’s CE Church and spent a lot of time within the Heywood Rotary and Probus club. After retiring from the police, he found a love for his garden and spent a lot of time outside planting in the garden.

Last year he published his memoirs, entitled Jack, with the help of his daughter-in-law Anne, and was selected to represent the commonwealth and do a reading at Westminster Abbey.

Jack was married to his wife Nan for almost 50 years. She died in 1991 following a battle with cancer. The couple had three children and Jack went on to become a grandfather and a great grandfather.

He leaves behind three children, six grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

His family described him as a “real family man” who was “proud as punch” of all of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

His funeral will take place at St Luke’s Church on Monday 24 August from 11:15am. A committal at Rochdale Crematorium will follow at 1pm.

Colleagues and friends are then invited to share their memories and celebrate Jack’s life at TOPS Business Centre on Hind Hill Street, Heywood.

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