Photo:Percy in his uniform during WW2 and today

Percy in his uniform during WW2 and today

Sussex Express May 2000

Photo:Newhaven Fire Brigade WW2

Newhaven Fire Brigade WW2

Sussex Express in May 2000

Photo:The Newhaven Wartime Fire Engine

The Newhaven Wartime Fire Engine

Oyster Pond Cottages, Eastside

By Shirley Bailey

REMEMBERING PERCY JENNER Percy died on December 12th 2001 in his 92nd year. He was born on December 29th 1909 on the east side of Newhaven, locally known as 'The Oyster Ponds'. He was the next to youngest of 13 children (not all survived to maturity). At the age of eight, during school holidays he helped on a farm, helping one of his brothers who was the shepherd at a Bishopstone farm. Percy left school at 15 and for 50years was a baker's roundsman for Sargeants (Grocers and bakers of Newhaven). At the beginning of WW2 he worked in the bakehouse, baking bread as well as delivering because of the shortage of manpower. From 1939-1945 he was a part-time fireman, driving the Newhaven fire engine-he was on duty the night the ammunition barge hit the cliffs beyond Newhaven harbour and blew up. This was on November 22nd 1944. He retired from Sargeants aged 65 years and worked at the Iron Foundry until aged 70. Percy enjoyed his retirement and kept himself busy and made a point of walking every day (weather permitting). Whilst in his 70's he twice walked along the cliff tops from Newhaven to Eastbourne. With his death he leaves behind a 3 daughters 4 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. He is sadly missed as he was a great character.
The following article appeared in the Sussex Express in May 2000   FIREMAN PERCY GIVES HIS OLD UNIFORM TO FORT A ninety one year old former World War Two fireman has donated his old u8niform for display at Newhaven Fort.
Percy Jenner from South Road Newhaven, was one of the fire-fighters who tackled the blazes in Newhaven after enemy bombing raids.
Fort manager, Ian Everest, said the uniform had lain in Mr Jenner's house for nearly 60 years. Mr Jenner visited the fort this year and, inspired by the wartime displays, decided to donate it as an exhibit.
The uniform, consisting of a helmet, jacket, trousers, boots, hatchet and pouch is displayed in the Home Front exhibition alongside the Blitz experience and Air raid Shelters.

Mr Everest added "Percy has plenty of tales about his wartime activity and also about his job as a bread boy prior to the war". During this time one of his delivery addresses was Newhaven Fort.

This page was added by Ginny Smith on 24/10/2009.
Comments about this page

Just before Percy died I asked him to come over to Tidemills to explain where Amos Kennard lived. My wife, Jacqueline's (nee Kennard) Great Grandfather Amos died in 1945 aged 95 and was a shepherd at Tidemills. Percy kindly took me on a tour of the remains of the houses and pointed out to me where the Kennard's lived and what fields Amos had his flock in. I took some good photos of the last vestiges of the houses with Percy. A wonderful man.

By Jack Patten
On 01/01/2010

Did Percy have a sister named Rose?

By john snow
On 02/04/2010

Did Percy ever do deliveries for Sargeants on the 50's and 60's? I know that he was a friend of my family as they always talked fondly of him but I have a recollection of him delivering stuff to the house in Denton.

By Peter Howard
On 11/07/2010

Pete I wish you would talk to me about these things (having just spent 3 weeks with him in Australia) Percy was the delivery man who used to deliver to us at Wellington Road, Denton. He was one of the happiest men I have ever come accross always pleased to speak to you and always remembered your name.

By Terry Howard
On 28/01/2011

Jack did you used to live next door to us in  Wellington Road, Denton ?

By Terry Howard
On 11/02/2011

Yes, I lived at number 29 that used to be number 3 before all of the construction of new houses. We were a part of a semi-detached. Jacqueline and I lived there from 1962 to 1967. We bought it for £2,700 pounds and sold it to Steven Walser for £4,500 pounds. 

Think you might mean Malcolm Walser, (who was married to Judy) Jack. Steve Walser lived in Heighton Road....

John -- Editor

By Jack Patten
On 31/08/2011

We lived next door to Mr. and Mrs. Jenner in South Road for as long as I can remember. He was always chatting to my parents (Arthur and Jean Woolford) over the garden wall and never failed to throw our lost footballs back over the wall when we became a bit too enthusiastic.

By David Woolford
On 14/09/2011

Going off on a bit of a tangent here John(editor), do you remember the police inspector who lived the other side of us, must have been no 33. He had to vouch for me when the Triumph Herald I had recently sold was used in an armed robbery in Brighton.F unnily after I had moved to Hastings, I saw the Triumph at our local filling station, the owner seemed to enjoy the story.

Might it have been late John Atkins not sure of his rank,  Terry.  

John ( Editor)

By Terry Howard
On 16/09/2011

Yes that was it John, Insp Atkins. I met him again many years later, when I hit a dog at Berwick whilst travelling to work in Seaford and had to report it to the police. He reminded me of the incident at Seaford Police station.

By Terry Howard
On 17/09/2011

When I was a child living in Piddinghoe, "Jenner" as I called him drove the bakers van that delivered to our village shop. He was great friends with my grandfather, He was a lovely, kind man & when I was a 5 year old always looked forward to his van trundling along the village road, I had an Uncle Perce & so I didn't mix them up always called him "Jenner", not to be disrespectful to him.

By Malcolm Pelling
On 08/02/2015

John Snow - would that sister be Rose Rookley (possibly Higginson after marriage)? If so, I think we're researching the same family tree!

By Naomi Chapman
On 14/05/2015

Have just noticed this article about Percy Jenner and my part in displaying his uniform at the fort. It was a pleasure to get to know Percy - an absolute treasure of a person. They don't make 'em like that anymore!

By Ian Everest
On 17/05/2015

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.