JOHN Cox a former editor of the Gazette Series sadly passed away on April 15 following a battle with dementia.

John, a lifelong Gazette journalist started as a trainee reporter at the Dursley Gazette in 1950, before becoming sports editor, creating the motoring section, editing the Wilts and Glos Standard before becoming editor of the Gazette and group editorial director.

His most notable early story was covering the River Severn rail bridge disaster, along with long time Gazette photographer David Ireland. Over the years John was well known as a mentor, being instrumental in several paths to national broadsheets and tabloids for young journalists.

He is survived by his wife Pat a long-time local counsellor, wildlife champion and women’s safety and welfare campaigner and his 2 sons; Nick and Andrew.

In his early life John was an accomplished sportsman playing football for Slimbridge, cricket for Cam and joining Stinchcombe Hill Golf Club approximately 70 years ago, where he became club captain, help position as a trustee and achieved the golfer’s ultimate stroke of a hole in one.

His love of rugby was shown through his 50 years plus of reporting on Gloucester home games with his copy being taken by most of the major national Sunday and weekday papers.

John always loved to travel whether for work or pleasure. His professional responsibilities took him around the South West for the Bailey Newspaper Group with the titles across Devon, Dorset, much of South Wales and covering Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Wiltshire. He travelled to meet his former Regiment (National Service); the Glosters quite extensively to join them around the UK, Germany and Canada on numerous occasions.

John served as a Clerk with the Glosters, joining their permanent staff locally and enjoying the opportunity to study at night school to accelerate his Journalist qualifications.

With his work developing the motoring section of the Gazette series, John was able to enjoy access to extended test drives on virtually every type of car available with the UK over a series of years.

He travelled occasionally to new type launches both in the UK and overseas seeing the first Ford Fiesta in Monte Carlo and also visited Japan in the pursuit of these tasks. His most memorable experience was tying with F1 legend Jackie Stewart in a driving agility competition.

His wider community activities were similarly varied being an active member of Dursley Round Table, becoming Area Chairman for this well-known community and fund-raising organisation.

Following that he became a member of the adult staff of No 649 Sqn Air Training Corps in Dursley – following his youth membership immediately post WW2.

John was commissioned for several years in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve reaching the rank of Flying Officer.

He also served for over 20 years as a Governor of Rednock School, chairing several sub-committees but his most important contribution was being the driving force, commercial advisor and prime negotiator for the redevelopment of the school.

During retirement he was no less active with sports, community projects and travel. He played golf at least twice weekly, continued his association with Rednock School Governors and enjoying numerous caravanning trips, notably enjoying late summer trips to France and Spain for 20 plus years.

He enjoyed mountain walks, local cuisine, developing his French language skills and occasional wild lake swimming.

John had an active and varied life, career and an exceptionally busy and enjoyable retirement.

He will be remembered for his drive, no nonsense interactions and undying commitment to his wife, family, grandchildren and the wider sporting, youth and educational communities.

The Funeral will take place at Upper Cam Church on Monday 10 May. Given Covid restrictions the funeral numbers are currently limited. It is hoped that the cortège will travel to the church via a final visit to John's beloved Stinchcombe Hill.