Obituaries

Arthur Jancis 2nd February 1924 – 8th January 2018 Obituary Feb 2018

Arthur was born in Saldus, Latvia, his parents were farmers and he was sent to agricultural college. In 1941 he left Latvia, never to return, and he lost all his family in the war.
Arthur arrived in England in 1947 he worked at the docks in Boston and on farms in Lincolnshire before moving to the West Midlands where he worked as a miner in Cannock. He was made a member of the miners rescue team and attended the fire at Baggeridge Colliery.
When the mines closed he worked at Healey Mouldings in Oldbury and retired at the age of 65.

Arthur married Avenel in 1955 and had two children, Alan and Avenel and four grandchildren, Stuart , Thomas, Becca and Anna and enjoyed spending time with them all.

Although he was a practical man, who enjoyed gardening and working on his house and car, Arthur relaxed by playing Chess until his failing eyesight prevented him continuing in his 90’s.

All Arthur’s family would like to express their appreciation to members of the Mercia Chess Club who provided him with mental and social stimulation for so many years. It was fitting that the wake for Arthur was held in the ex-servicemen’s club and was attended by seven members of the chess club who had known him well and transported him around the countryside to club matches.
Arthur was much loved and will be sadly missed.


Rod Price Obituary Dec 2014

Rod_Price
Rod was born 18th October 1962, to Percy and Brenda, a younger brother to Gwen and Roz. The family lived in Sedgley, Furlongs Road, moving from number 7 to 27 when Rod was five as they the family needed a three bedroomed house. Rod attended the local schools, Tudor County Primary and High Arcal where he excelled at running, competing for the school at county level in the 100 metres.
As a youngster Rod was always to be found playing in water, around ponds or making rope swings over ponds with his mates. Always outdoors and active, Roz remembers that he seemed to have the uncanny knack of losing his shoes! He would either step into mud and leave one behind or kick a ball and one would fly off into water never to be seen again!
He completed his schooling at High Arcal and then went on a YTS scheme in construction, learning bricklaying and tiling amongst other skills. He had a few jobs in construction but then had a change of career and went to work at the Land Registry in Kingswinford and then Telford. His career later took him to the Child Support Agency in Brierley Hill. He enjoyed this work, despite it being very stressful, but he seemed to be able to take it all in his stride. He remained there until he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer early last year.
Rod loved music. He played the guitar and found this relaxing, and enjoyed “jamming” with his friends at the guitar club. He liked to go to festivals and concerts with his family and his mates and would listen to music of any style.
Rod also loved puzzles, such as the rubik cube, cryptic crosswords card games, and some obscure board games resurrected from times gone by. He had a sharp and active mind and always liked to keep it challenged. Rod was at long serving member of Mercia Chess Club for 27 years from 1986 onwards. He achieved a top grade of 132 by 2009/2010 and won both the 1st team and club’s Best Performance prize that season. He won the 2nd team best performance on no less than 4 occassions and the Christmas quickplay on 2000. He represented the Midlands in a DWP National Chess Competition.
He enjoyed watching films (sci fi, action movies, war films) and reading. He possessed a huge library and read anything from novels by Terry Pratchett, Tolkein and Douglas Adams to Asimov’s Guide to Science, books on Ethics, Politics, History and the Natural World. His nephew and niece Jack and Gemma have benefitted over the years from their uncle’s wide knowledge, whether it be from magic to mechanics.
Rod’s other passions ware walking and camping, Hadrian’s Wall and Offa’s Dyke amongst many of the places he walked with his group of friends from Sedgley. He enjoyed being under canvas especially if it rained or there was a thunder storm.
He liked to meet the Friday Night Lads for a decent pint of real ale and their support over the time of illness has been greatly appreciated. When he was out on a Friday night he could forget all his worries and problems.
Rod always described himself as an atheist, but he respected other people’s beliefs and his reading included the Bible. He was always searching for knowledge, of any type.

This search for knowledge included travelling. He went to Russia and on his return began to learn a bit of the Russian language. He also travelled to other eastern block counties including the Czech Republic and, in contrast, to Las Vegas where he loved flying over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter.

Tragically Rod’s mother passed away when he was twenty seven. Rod was a devoted son to his parents and looked after his father Percy as he grew older until he died aged 91 a few years ago.

Rod will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by many.

R. I. P.


George Challinor Obituary Oct 2013

George was born in Walsall in 1929 and moved to live in Upper Landywood. He had 1 brother and 3 sisters and attended Upper Landywood Junior School and Great Wyrley Senior School. After school he trained to be a carpenter and he served his apprenticeship at Butchers Joinery in Wolverhampton. He really enjoyed woodwork and he used to make small wooden toys for younger members of the family. At the age of 18 he was called up to do his National Service and served his time in the RAOC spending part of that time at Stranraer, Scotland disposing of ammunition at sea. He married Gwen Wright and they had two children and 4 grandchildren. His wife passed away in 1981 and was in shock when his daughter passed away in 2006. He always carried a small penknife in his pocket which his maternal grandfather had given to him when he was a small boy. He enjoyed gardening and loved to grow tomatoes and vegetables. In his retirement he enjoyed a game of Crown Green Bowls and he was a keen member of Mercia Chess Club. George was fortunate in the fact that he did a job that he liked, being a carpenter and joiner. He had to be strong in character as his wife was ill as the children were growing up. George had health problems in later years, he had to have a heart valve fitted, this was a success and he could carry on as normal. He had problems with arthritis, psoriasis, hearing loss and Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and towards the end cancer of the oesophagus. George spent seven years playing for Mercia, being almost omni-present at the club every Tuesday night.

He will be sorely missed by David and all the other members.

R. I. P.


Gordon Stokes-Roberts      Obituary Sept 2007

Gordon Stokes-Roberts

Gordon Stokes-Roberts

Gordon was a very keen player of chess. When living in Birmingham, I understand that he played for Erdington chess club. Then having moved to Wolverhampton Kipping chess club. He later played for his works team “Goodyears”. Then Dudley C.C & Birmingham Settlement C.C and finally Mercia.

Gordon was a founder member of this chess club in 1969 and continued to be a member right up until his death. He played in the BDCL, WDCL, Dudley and Worcester Leagues and also played in various congresses around the country and won several prizes.

Gordon was well liked and respected by all club members throughout the Midlands. In his later years he suffered from acute deafness, caused by his active service as a navigator in his RAF days in Burma during the 2nd world war. This did not deter him from carrying on with his chess, although it might have irritated some players when he could not hear his deaf aid whistling during a match.

We will all miss his friendly companionship and he carried a true air of a gentleman.

R. I. P.