Kenneth William Rochester (1922 – 1966)
Ken Rochester was born on 18th June 1922, and joined the Company in 1938 as an Office Boy aged 16 on 12/6 per week, having been at Leyton County High School for Boys in Essex Road.
During WWII, the Company’s resources were turned over almost entirely to war work, and we made parts for both the Lancaster & Mosquito aircraft, as well as many other items for the military. Ken was active in this war effort, being promoted to Works Progress Controller on 1st January 1945, on £6.12.6 per week.
He married Joan Mildred Clark in 1948. At the start of the war Joan, together with her sister, had been conscripted into war work, and had been assigned to a factory in Enfield producing wings for Hampden bombers. When production ceased at this site Joan (without her sister) was reassigned to Herberts, where she met Ken. Joan was born in Enfield in 1925 and her daughter recalls being told that when Joan and Ken first met, "he was wearing a long, brown inelegant dust coat”, which was significant as a fortune teller had told her she would meet a man in a strange coat.
Ken and Joan made many friendships in the Company, their son remembers "Mr Jarvis coming in his car to take us on holiday before we had a car of our own” and ‘Aunty Elsie’ (Mrs Kitchen) visiting their home.
Ken left us on 14th May 1954 to join Rushbrookes, another Smithfield butchers sundries supplier, as their Shop Fitting Representative.
He died on 30th October 1966.