Normandy veteran John Mercer dies aged 92
PUBLISHED: 09:29 28 September 2015 | UPDATED: 11:24 28 September 2015
He was among the first troops to enter Berlin at the end of the war
Praise has come for local historian, churchman, author, teacher, historian and family man, John Mercer, who died earlier this month.
Mr Mercer had served with the Royal Artillery from 1942 to 1947, and was a veteran of the Normandy invasions, as well as being in Berlin at the end of the war.
After the war he became a teacher and taught at Hurstmere School in Sidcup from 1957, before moving to North London Polytechnic (now London Metropolitan University) in 1968.
In the same year he became a lay reader for the Church of St John the Evangelist, Sidcup, and kept this position for 32 years until 2000, Mr Mercer continued to volunteer at the church until his death.
Mr Mercer helped support the preservation of Danson Stables and Danson House after joining Bexley Civic Society in the late 1970s, for which he later became chairman of, and served on the Planning and Conservation Committee for the rest of his life.
A keen local historian, Mr Mercer was a member of Lamorbey and Sidcup Local History Society since 1960, and wrote a number of books on his local area, as well as his experiences during World War Two.
He was also at various times Chairman of Sidcup U3A and Sidcup Probus Club, Governor of Birkbeck School, and a founding member of the Friends of Red House in 1998, working as a guide at Red House since 1998.
In 2010 the Mayor of Bexley Borough presented him with a certificate in ‘Recognition of Voluntary Service’.
Mr Mercer’s first wife, Joan, died in 1990, ten years later he remarried to Olive Annis.
John Mercer will be missed by his wife Olive, his children James and Ruth, his grandchildren, his many friends and by the Borough of Bexley.