A Very Unlikely Hero

A very unlikely hero… John Custance Baker

A Very Unlikely Hero

This is Hilary’s article about her uncle John…

John Custance Baker was born in Penang in Malaya in 1921, the youngest of three boys.

John as child

He was small, weak and suffered from asthma. As he grew up, he became quiet, humorous, patient and loved by all who came in contact with him.


 Barry, John, Alan

John was under five when he was sent to England with his brothers to be brought up by his grandfather and great aunt. His father visited whenever he got leave from his Colonial Civil Servant duties in Malaya, his mother a little more often.


Alan, Barry, John

When he was seven or eight there was a letter from John’s grandfather to his mother saying: “I am deeply grieved to have to tell you that John has got pleurisy.” In her private notebook his mother wrote “John, frail little John … & three weeks of sea and…

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