It is with great sadness that Sheffield DA announces the death of Jim Pass at the age of 102, on 4th November.
Many of you will have known Jim, who lived with his wife, Rita, at Bradway in Sheffield for over 20 years and before that for much of his life in the Leeds area, having been born in Castleford.
It is fair to say that Jim lived an incredible life and had a genuine love for camping, having been a member of the Camping & Caravanning Club for over half a century and at various times occupying a number of committee positions for Sheffield DA, British Caravanners’ Club (where he held the position of Hon. Vice President) and also on the Club National Council, including fourteen years as chairman of the Club’s Communications Committee.
Jim was a great ambassador for our DA and the Club. Sheffield DA Chairman, Iain Bonfield, recounts a story that Jim told him of when and why he joined the club. “Evidently, he was walking past a BCC meet at Patley Bridge and being the inquisitive person he was, he popped on the site and asked what they were up to. He was fascinated by the way they were camping and that they all seemed to be having a great time, and signed up there and then to join the club......only thing was at that time he didn’t own a caravan... and the rest as they say, is history!”.
Jim’s enthusiasm and dedication to camping and the Club is typified in thawhilst serving on the Club’s Communications Committee, Jim decided it would be a great idea to publicise the Club by taking his Camping Club Youth test.. at the age of 70!
Other members recount memories of Jim attending FICC rallies; Sheffield DA Secretary, Trisha Lamb, recollecting both Ireland in 1997 and Poland in 1998.
Apparently, Jim also had a top tip for a perfect G&T, Iain Bonfield was schooled in the art by Jim and the sequential technique he espoused is ‘GILT’ (Gin, Ice, Lemon and then Tonic). Jim was also fondly renowned for his unique tactics in Sheffield DA’s annual cheese and wine competition, which was to keep trying them until you find a good bottle and then sit down and enjoy it!
We know Jim primarily as a fellow DA camper, but Jim’s wartime service saw him awarded the prestigious Légion d’honneur, the most esteemed order for servicemen and women who fought to protect France in times of war. Awarded to Jim in 2016 by the French Government, it was presented in recognition of those who helped to win France’s liberation from the Nazis during the course of the Second World War.
As reported in the Yorkshire Post, Jim was a motorbike dispatch rider in the Royal Army Service Corps in the early stages of the war where he delivered messages between military lines. During the dramatic retreat to Dunkirk, Jim had been part of an ammunition convoy heading to Dunkirk when they got strafed by German planes, causing huge explosions and leaving him on his own. On his way to the beaches, he ditched his bike in a canal so the Germans couldn’t use it. On D-Day, Jim drove a DUKW amphibious vehicle bringing ammunition onshore to Sword Beach and afterwards Jim was tasked with landing his glider in Holland and fought with his comrades across to Germany, passing by the recently liberated Belsen concentration camp.
Jim is survived by his wife, Rita, who is also a dedicated DA camper who has also served on Sheffield DA committee, Yorkshire Region and National Council over the years. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to Rita and her family at this difficult time.
Jim’s funeral is scheduled to take place at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium in Sheffield, at 11am on Friday, November 27th and I am sure many would wish to pay their respects but of course, under the current restrictions, this is not possible however anyone wishing to do so may view the ceremony online. If members require details, please see Sheffield DA’s private Facebook page or contact Sheffield DA via the website or call the funeral director, G & M Lunt on 0114 274 5508.