John Michael Umbers (Mike): 1936 – 2023

We are sorry to announce that John Michael Umbers (Mike) has passed away. The following obituary is courtesy of his family.

Mike Umbers attended Trinity Hall in 1957 to read English, graduating three years later.  He joined the ADC and Marlow Societies as well as the OTC.  In the Corps, he rapidly made Sergeant as a result of having done National Service, then WO2, and earned valuable extra cash undertaking camps, training weekends and specialist parachute training.

Following graduation in 1960, Mike re-joined the Staffordshire Regiment as a direct entry officer, and became a career soldier, serving until retirement as a Lt Col aged 58.  Throughout a varied career he served in the Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Germany, Kenya, Malaya, Sharjah, Bahrain and Nigeria, and concluded his service as Range Commandant for the Hythe ranges and training area on the Kent coast.

In retirement he lived with his wife Janine in the Kent coastal town of Hythe near Folkestone, and devoted himself making a positive contribution to village life.  He was an active member of the Civic and History Societies, wrote three books on local history, edited the  village newsletter, made frequent contributions to the Parish Review, gave Talks, raised funds; including for a local Visitor Centre, and played a role as a village and church guide.  He was a committed and vocal advocate for the town, and surrounding area.

Mike was diagnosed with late-stage and terminal cancer in the latter part of 2023, and died as he would have wished – quickly, at home, and with his wife of nearly 60 years; Janine, at his bedside.  He leaves Janine, as well as two adult children, Richard and Eleanor, and five Grandchildren, now all living in New Zealand and Australia.

He will be missed.