John Henry Humphries, known as Jack, has died at the age of 89.

He was the founder member of the IW branch of the Coldstream Guards Association. 

Born in 1929 in a poor mining community just outside Rotherham in South Yorkshire, he had little schooling.

As the eldest son he had to work to support his large family, particularly after his own father’s injury and early death.

At 14 he left school, working in a variety of manual jobs in railway yards and farms before entering the colliery at Silverwood at 15.

While working in the mine, he suffered a serious injury, finding himself trapped underneath a coal wagon. As a result, he was determined to leave the pit.

He ended up enlisting in the Coldstream Guards in 1948 at the age of 19 and saw active service in the Malayan Emergency in 1948 to 1950.

He then spent two years in London, performing guard duties at royal palaces and the Bank of England, followed by a tour of Germany.

During his time in London he met his wife, Gillian (Gill). They married in 1954.

After discharge, Mr Humphries worked at De Havilland aircraft factory in Watford.

In 1956, he started a 35-year career with the Co-operative Insurance Society in a range of agency and managerial roles around north London, and also served as an officer for a shopworkers’ union for much of this time.

In 1977, now with two children, the family moved to Oakhill Road, Seaview, and Mr Humphries began 14 years as the Co-operative Insurance agent covering the West Wight, becoming familiar to thousands of customers.

In his spare time, he played golf at the Shanklin and Sandown Golf Club, was a member of the Spithead Lodge, and for many years kept an allotment on Quarry Road, Ryde.

He retired in 1991 and founded the IW Branch of the Coldstream Guards Association, working tirelessly to arrange social functions and support members.

The couple, who latterly lived in Ryde, enjoyed travelling, including two reunion trips to Malaya for veterans.

He died on May 31, leaving his wife, daughter Sally, son James, four grandchildren and one great grandson.