Clitheroe war hero policeman pens his life story

Jack Wilson's book
Jack Wilson's book

A war hero who braved Nazi U-boats to ensure vital supplies reached the Allies during the Second World War has written a biography based on his life experiences.

A former Clitheroe police inspector, John Wilson, better known as Jack, is one of just a handful of surviving veterans of the Arctic convoys, which saw Royal Navy ships escort merchant vessels to the Soviet Union – Britain’s wartime ally in the fight against Nazi Germany.

Jack braved enemy attack and freezing temperatures as a telegraphist aboard HMS Cooke to ensure men and munitions reached Murmansk safely. In 2013, he was handed the Arctic Star after the government agreed to cast a special medal to honour those who served in the Arctic Circle during the war.

Now, aged 91, Jack, who lives in Heywood, is set to release his biography, “JACK” which he started writing two years ago after encouragement from his family members.

Born in West View, Clitheroe, in 1923, Jack spent his early life in this family home. He attended St James’ Primary School and then went on to Ribblesdale Senior School. He began his working career as a telegraphist at the Post Office where a chance meeting with a young Swiss girl, Anne Marie Amman Lussi, led to the romance of his life and his future wife.

The end of the war saw him return home to his wife and baby son and to life as a policeman, firstly in Liverpool and then, by 1947, in his home town of Clitheroe.

His biography, which is penned by his daughter-in-law Anne Booth, tells many stories of this early police career in Clitheroe and the Rossendale Valley. The book is available to buy from Amazon and all royalties from these sales will be donated to Cancer Research. In addition, a launch party will be held this Saturday (March 28th) at the TOPS business centre in Heywood.