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News > Announcements > Obituaries > In Memoriam: Jeremy Latham (47-50)

In Memoriam: Jeremy Latham (47-50)

You are warmly welcomed to leave a message below, share your memories and celebrate the life of Jeremy Latham (47-50) who we sadly lost in 2023.
22 Jun 2023
Written by Robin Knight
Obituaries
Jeremy Latham
Jeremy Latham

OBITUARY: J.J.B. LATHAM (47-50)

Jeremy Latham (47-50) died on 6th April 2023 at the age of 89 as the OP Society was informed in May by his widow Marika. He also left three children by his first wife, and a stepson. During the covid era he wrote a “potted history” of his life on which this obituary is based.

The son of a leading Engineer Officer in the Royal Navy who died early of overwork and ill health in 1942, Jerry was born in Alverstoke, Hampshire in 1934. As a boarder, he attended Port Regis prep school near St. Albans before arriving at the Nautical College in 1947 and joining Harbinger Division in 1948. By his own account, he did not thrive at the NCP. Despite this, he quite liked the College and went out of his way in later life to praise the school as it is today.

In 1950 Jerry left the NCP and became an officer cadet in the Merchant Navy with the Clan Line. Having completed a few voyages with the company around Africa and to India, he decided that the sea would not be his lifelong career and left. So began, by his own account, a “roller stone” business existence over the following 38 years.

His first move was to Ireland where he joined Jacobs, the biscuit and chocolate makers, and also took a Diploma Course in Social and Industrial Psychology at Trinity College, Dublin. After this he returned to England and joined a Management Development Scheme with Unilever. In the 1950s he moved to Regent Oil, an up-and-coming UK petrol company, where he worked as an area representative. In 1959 Regent was absorbed into the American oil company Texaco. The next year Jerry and his first wife and young son found themselves in Nigeria as Texaco’s regional manager.

Returning to the UK in 1965, Jerry joined Fina and then Amoco as Retail Dealer Manager. Here he played a key role in promoting trading stamps such as Green Shield. Before very long, Green Shield offered him a consultancy. After the Green Shield stamp era ended, he became a training consultant with a business called The Tack Organisation which specialised in management and sales training.

In 1972 Volkswagen offered him the job of UK Training Manager. During his time with company, Jerry was instrumental in the centralisation of VW UK to its new home in Milton Keynes. He was to remain with Volkswagen for 17 years in a variety of roles (including a period seconded to Lonhro in Nigeria), eventually becoming head of HR.

In retirement Jerry and Marika moved to North Wales and started a small business called Welsh Kitchen Range making preserves before moving to Uttoxeter, Staffordshire in 2000, where he lived until he died. Whilst in Uttoxeter, he became active within the community, joining the local town council and being involved in several community groups

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