John Samuel Leslie James RIP

3rd May 1917 – 11th March 2020

John Samuel Leslie James, or Jimmy as he was affectionately known, was born on the 3rd May 1917.  Despite being the Club’s oldest Member, Jimmy was active and social, playing croquet up until very recently, and enjoying lunch at the Club regularly with friends and family.


Jimmy joined the Club in July 1984 but nevertheless on his 100th birthday the Club awarded him Honorary Membership and gave him a framed shirt from his favourite football club, Luton FC signed by all the current players. He treasured it. Indeed, his Luton shirt and cap, adorned his coffin at his funeral on Monday 6th April.

I was privileged to have been asked to attend Jimmy’s funeral service at Mortlake Crematorium, a quiet affair of course but beautiful, made special too by the beautiful cross-shaped floral wreath Peter Bradburn made, with flowers and foliage from around the Club’s estate.  It too laid on his coffin.  Afterwards, the family drove to Jimmy’s home village of Ridgmont, in Bedfordshire and laid the wreath on the headstone of his parents’ grave – where Jimmy’s ashes will be scattered in due course, his one and only wish.


‘Thank you for the wonderful gesture of flowers from Roehampton’s gardens.  Jimmy would have been chuffed to bits that the flowers came from his Club.

A celebration of Jimmy’s life will be held at the Club in due course, where Members can to come together to remember him.  Meanwhile, if you would like to send condolences to the family, please address these to Mrs Pat York –

16 Lancaster Close, Wollaston, Northants NN9 7PD


Roehampton Club was a big part of Jimmy’s life and we are delighted that the Croquet Committee has approved a Jimmy James Memorial Croquet Cup to be played each year as near to the 3rd  May as possible, starting in 2021, a lovely idea put forward by his family – Jimmy would have approved.


The trophy will be the cherrywood trophy, made from the cherry tree which stood next to the Croquet Pavilion.


Nicki Davis  |  Operations Manager, Food/Beverage and Events