Jack William Woolgar was the eldest of three children. He was born on 15th September 1913 in Thames Ditton, Surrey. Just out of wedlock and just before the first world war. His father, a journeyman joiner, also called Jack William Woolgar was absent from home for large parts of his early years serving in the Great War. Reputedly driving his horse drawn food wagon around France behind German lines - this story is one of many the storytelling Jack would later recount and embellish on every outing, his father, eventually in the tale, went on to feed many of the German troops. Jack senior did however get gassed at least twice and a photograph of him (not this one) shows his bloated face as a result of being gassed. This didn't stop him siring other children on his leaves home, a daughter in 1915 and finally producing another son named Roy Francis when on leave from Rouy in France. This again may be a story as a little research shows Roy to have been born in 1920 well after any leave from the war!

Jack junior's war was, from what I recall from his tales, one of siting under tables during air-raids and living in a matriarchal world. He recalled being terrified by the huge Zeppelin airships that flew over London. His mother Maud may have been instrumental in this terror as she always seemed a very superstitious woman and prone to over reaction and over protection. Jack had a bad chest and was permanently in a woollen vest plastered with lineament or similar embrocation. A manifestation of her over protection.

His schooling began in the local village school in Tolworth attending St Marks Cof E and during that time gaining some school prizes for reading.

He was very proud of his working class and humble roots but was always a self educationalist recognising the need for mental self improvement and where it could lead.

Here I will let him take over the story in his own words.


The Official web site
Jack Woolgar with his parents Jack and Maud and sister Eileen around 1918