1. The Weston family and St John Ambulance

Following his death on 5 January 2018 St John Ambulance received a substantial bequest from the estate of Cyril Weston. This note collects together some biographical information on Cyril, his family and their connection with St John Ambulance.

1 The Weston family

Cyril's father, James (Jim) Weston came from London, joined the Royal Marines in the 1890’s, became a naval boxing champion, was shipwrecked in 1908 off the Isle of Wight (when in a blinding snowstorm the cruiser HMS Gladiator collided with the American liner St Paul), trained as a ship's butcher on George V’s Royal yacht and served as a member of the gunnery detail on board HMS Inconstant during the Battle of Jutland. 

Cyril and Vera Weston

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The family moved from London to Gosport in the 1920s, for a while with a drapers shop and later a general store, which after leaving the services, Cyril's father ran for the rest of his life.

Cyril was born on 19th April 1924, at 26 Hartington Road, Gosport, one of nine siblings Lily, John, Albert , Stanley, Doris, Elsie, Jim, Dennis and finally Cyril and, with his passing none remained. So Cyril's death represents the end of a generation. A generation of the family that became caught up in the maelstrom of the Second World War and faithfully served their country, at great personal risk but miraculously all 5 brothers survived the direct results of enemy action.

His brother Jim used to joke that as a member of the RAF Regiment his entire war was spent arriving just after a battle or being transferred just before it was started. Cyril's war was a little different. In 1940 Cyril (who was only 16 at the time) joined the crew of a Royal Fleet Auxiliary ammunition carrier taking materiel from the depot at Priddy’s Hard in Gosport up to the naval base at Scapa Flow.

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