Oxhill News

www.oxhill.com / www.oxhill.org.uk

South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

April 2007

This months News



John Groves - 1929-2007

The following eulogy was read at the John’s funeral on Tuesday 6th March

John was born to John and Ivy Groves at Hardwick Farm Kineton on 4th May 1929, another in a long line of Groves. A large farming family stretching across Warwickshire, Oxford, and with some family still in Devon today.

John was the first-born, followed by a sister Sylvia and a younger brother Timothy.  They followed their ancestors before them, farming many acres of land, working long hours.  An early memory of John is as a young teenager cycling from Kineton to Oxhill, where he then walked some distance across the fields to harness up ‘Duke’, his white horse, and then load up the cart with hay to feed the many animals around, sometimes before his school day started.

Of course post-war farming was hard work without any of the modern machinery or amenities we have today, but John accepted the harshness of the elements and worked with dedication; he often spoke fondly of working alongside the land girls and prisoners of war that were allocated to work on his father’s farms.

As the years moved on John and Sylvia moved to Oxhill Farm, where John would often be seen on his tractor around the village, still working as hard as ever, without even a day off let alone a holiday.  His love of all animals drove him on.  But if anyone were to call into the farm to visit he always made them welcome, opening the whiskey bottle and retelling farming stories of times gone by and relating old weather lore.  His vast knowledge of the British Isles was amazing for a non-driver.  If you asked where a place was he would reply “I know where that is.  We went to a farm sale there years ago.”

Although he had no children of his own he was especially fond of Timothy’s children; his two nieces Shelley and Carley and his two nephews Ryan and Shaun.  He also encouraged the children of the village to help with the calf feeding, the bottle feeding of pet lambs and searching in the bales in the barns for eggs or the latest litter of kittens.  A special treat for John was market day, when after an early morning start with preparations for market day lambs or cattle or sheep went to be sold and, sometimes, the youngsters were treated to dinner in the market café.

Age creeps up on us all, and after years of toiling John grew tired and spent more time inside enjoying his jigsaws and crossword puzzles, but still every morning he would start up his tractor to drive round the barns to feed his hens and his beloved cats.

Sadly, after never having visited a doctor, or had a stay in hospital all his life, he sat down for the last time and fell asleep.

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Last modified: March 30, 2007