WHAT I’M CALLED: John Walker MY AGE IN YEARS: I’m happy to be over 70.

WHAT I DO: I help organise the Final Turn in Headley Way, where hundreds of people turn out to pay their respects when the bodies of soldiers are brought to the John Radcliffe Hospital. We’ve been doing that for over three years now.

WHERE I LIVE: I have lived in Botley for about 15 years. I’m from Oxford originally.

WHO I LOVE: My dear wife Jacira, who everyone calls Jessie. We’ve been married for 33 years and we’re still very much happily married. And then of course I love my family.

HAPPIEST YEAR: When I met my wife. She is from Brazil and came to Oxford to study. You wouldn’t believe it, we met at a bus stop and started talking. That was years ago now, I can’t remember which year it was.

DARKEST MOMENT: It was in 2010 when we lost a dear friend. He was one of the soldiers killed in Afghanistan. We’d known him for years, he was my son’s best friend in the Army. My son is godfather to his daughter. He was a single father, it was tragic. But they are all sad, we don’t like to lose anyone.

PROUDEST BOAST: I think when I became involved with the repatriations at the Final Turn and became one of the organisers. Time after time, people are fantastic. They turn out for every one and it’s been over three years now.

WORST WEAKNESS: Smoking. I started whilst I was in the army, but I’m not a heavy smoker.

LESSON LEARNED: Just don’t judge people immediately before you know them.

DULLEST JOB: I’ve never had a dull job. After I left the Army we ran our own business for 20-odd years. But there comes a time when you have to say enough is enough.

GREATEST SHAME: That I was unable to attend my parents’ funerals.

LIFELONG HERO: Her Majesty the Queen.


WIDEST SMILE: When I see the early morning sunshine.

FAVOURITE DREAM: I don’t dream. I speak to people and they tell me that’s awful. I must have dreams but I just don’t put any substance to them.

BIGGEST REGRET: That I didn’t meet my wife before I did.