Headstone unveiled at Grantham ceremony for father of Carry On star Hattie Jacques

Headstone adorns the grave of Robin Jaques. Photo: Peter Reichelt
Headstone adorns the grave of Robin Jaques. Photo: Peter Reichelt
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A headstone has been unveiled at Grantham Cemetery at the grave of the father of Carry On comedienne Hattie Jacques.

The ceremony last Saturday was in memory of Flying Officer Robin Jaques who died at the age of 26 when the aircraft he was flying crashed near Grantham in August 1923, some 92 years ago. Until now, his grave has been without a headstone.

Hattie Jacques

Hattie Jacques

The headstone was unveiled at the grave by two ATC Air cadets, with the words ‘not forgotten’ written across it.

Three wreaths were laid in respect, with one coming from the Royal Air Force Association, another from the trustees at the Robin Jaques Memorial Fund and the third coming from The 100 Squadron Association, that being the squadron he was in before he died.

With a turnout of roughly 50 people, the event was largely successful, with the only issue being no Battle of Britain fly past. Promised both a Hurricane and a Spitfire, mechanical issues prevented both aircraft from attending the event, remaining at their base at RAF Coningsby instead.

Though disappointed by the problem, joint organiser and vice-chairman of Lincolnshire Family History Society, Peter Reichelt said: “I eventually got a call to say they’d had a problem with it, so they had to turn back.

“That was disappointing, but that’s the life of old aeroplanes.”

Despite this issue, members of the Grantham branch of the Royal British Legion, the Malayan and Borneo Veterans Association, the Grantham-based Air Training Core of 47F Squadron and the Grantham Royal Air Force Association were there to make up for it, displaying their standards.

A rendition of The Last Post was also delivered on the trumpet by Toby Yates, before refreshments were served by volunteers from St Anne’s Church after the ceremony.

Despite organisers’ best efforts and years of trying, none of Mr Jaque’s relatives could be traced to attend the event. Mr Reichelt said: “His grandson is a guitarist in a heavy metal band, I think he lives on the continent somewhere. In the past two years I have tried to contact him, but I’ve never been able to get any contact.”

Peter then went on to say that both he and former Grantham mayor Graham Wheat, who both organised the day as trustees of the Robin Jaques Memorial Fund, will return to the grave next year, placing down flowers in memory of the airman.