Monday 29 August 2016

John Willock - A Farewell to a great community activist and friend to many.

John Willock died on 30th May aged 67 in Prince Philip Hospital, He was born on the 11th of May 1949. All his adult life he strove to improve the lot of ordinary people. Cheerful, enthusiastic and resilient, John would help anyone and was fearless in support of a good cause.

 A son of the village of Llangennech, close to Llanelli, he served as a Community Councillor there for 20 years and was Chair of his council twice. His passions were politics, community service, and  his family, including his dogs and racing pigeons.

He was a lifelong socialist, a former trade union member and shop steward. A tireless campaigner, one of the first members of People First Wales/ Gwerin Gyntaf Cymru, for whom he was a County Council candidate in 2012 and a stalwart supporter.

 John spent his life fighting injustice and improving facilities for local people. In Llangennech he started an angling club, youth club, dramatic society and the historic society. In the wider Llanelli area he was a long time secretary of the Llanelli Trades Council, he ran a Llanelli based Socialist Discussion Group,  he successfully campaigned against the closure of Llanelli Care homes, saving Caemaen Care Home from closure.  He was himself recently a resident of Ty Mair Nursing Home when illness left him unable to cope at home.
John was instrumental in setting up the Annual Commemoration of the 1911 Llanelii Railway Strike which takes place in Llanelli every August. He was always greatly impressed by the courage of the Strikers, the brutality of the shootings and the anger of community shown afterwards.. Usually when troops start shooting people dead , the locals disperse. In Llanelli hundreds of unarmed, angry townspeople chased the soldiers back to the station and they had to lock themselves in for their own safety  as stones broke every window. No wonder the history of the incident was suppressed.

This year the 1911 committee, of which John was secretary, dedicated the events of this commemoration week to the man whose energy and dynamism promoted this important event.
John was a loving father and is survived by his sons, James and Julian. Tragically his lovely daughter Samantha suddenly and unexpectedly died earlier this year. John was heartbroken, and perhaps, in his grief never fully recovered from the shock.    

John’s Funeral is at Llanelli Crematorium 9.00 am Friday 2nd September 2016 

 Siân Caiach


  1. What a moving epitaph and well deserved. He set such an example of selfless devotion to his community. He will be sorely missed by family, friends and the wider community. He embodied the Bell Principles so important to People First Wales so not surprised he was an early member and campaigner.

  2. I was wondering if People First are going to publish a supportive feature concerning their Cilycwm candidate in the up and coming election! She has worked tirelessly through her blog to keep the Carmarthenshire residents informed about matters the CCC would prefer to remain invisible to us. As a People First Cllr yourself you have shown you are supportive of your constituents and the wider Carmarthenshire area; I believe Jacqui Thompson will put the public interest first and foremost and refuse, as you have, to be bullied into ignoring constituents who have a beef with the CCC. A Director in CCC told my Cllr not to speak to me or become involved in my issue with them. Constituents must have access to their Cllrs; we need Cllrs who'll not be cowed by the wrongful orders of officer & Executive to ignore a constituents rights. I am not a Cilycwm resident but would like to see another brave outspoken Cllr looking after the public interest!


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