Ajax Public Library Digital Archive
Ajax Veterans Street Dedication: Farrow Crescent


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Ajax Veterans Street Dedication: Farrow Crescent


Street Name: Farrow Crescent Name of Veteran: John C. Farrow April 18, 1918 - March 30, 1994 Rank: Stoker Ship Served: HMS Ajax Date of Service on Ship: 1939 to 1945 Year of Visit/Dedication: n/a Veteran or Family Visit: n/a Veteran of the Battle of the River Plate: Yes Died at Battle: No John Coates Farrow (known as Jackie to his friends) was born in Tanfield Lea, County Durham, England on April 18, 1918. His mother was Emma Lena Farrow and his father was Walter Arthur Farrow. He had four brothers; Walter, Arthur, Robert and Charlie, and a sister Mary. John’s mother died young, when he was sixteen, and he signed up and joined the Royal Navy when he left school. He served the HMS Ajax, HMS Cumberland and HMS Midhat. On October 30, 1943, at the age of twenty five, John married Elda Stonebank in Burnhope, County Durham. At this point he was a Petty Officer Stoker in the Royal Navy. They later had two children Elda (in 1948) and John (in 1950) and moved to Lanchester, County Durham. Some family members continue to live in the village. After leaving the Royal Navy John worked as a miner in a local pit, driving a locomotive. He became a member of the British Legion and was a Standard Bearer. He was made redundant at the Morrison Busty Mine in Annfield Plain and his next job was at Consett Steel Works. He worked there until the works closed and at that point he retired. In his retirement John attended the Battle of the River Plate reunion in London for several years, meeting up with fellow comrades from the Royal Navy. John died on March 30, 1994 at the age of seventy five. The vicar described him as ‘One of life’s true gentlemen.’ His ashes were taken by the Royal Navy and scattered at sea. Elda later died at the age of eighty two in 2004. John’s daughter Elda married Ray Dunham in 1967 and together they had two boys Richard and James. Both boys now have children; Christopher (James’ son), Freya and Harry (Richards children).