Former Lyme merchant seaman dies

PUBLISHED: 15:01 23 October 2018 | UPDATED: 18:53 23 October 2018

The late Jimmy Hallett. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The late Jimmy Hallett. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

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Jimmy Hallett travelled around the world and served on refuelling ships during the Falklands War

A Lyme Regis man, who showed great determination and faith in his own ability, has died at the age of 77.

Jimmy Hallett was jobless and sitting alone in a Lyons Café in London when he saw an advertisement offering £5 passages on the ship Rene Del Mar to South Africa.

Jimmy, who served an electrical apprenticeship with the Lyme Regis, Broad Street, firm of Wallis and Tomlin, took the plunge and never looked back, forging a brilliant career ashore and at sea.

A member of a prominent Lyme Regis family and brought up by his grandparents on East Cliff at Drop Anchor and then in an Anning Road council house, he worked for a company in Exeter before moving to London and making the bold decision to work overseas.

He arrived almost penniless, but fortune favoured the brave and he soon found a job in Zambia with a copper mining company for whom he was responsible for the supervision of on-site labour and the commissioning and lay out of new plant.

While in the country, he was conscripted into the South African Army for a short time and was awarded its service medal.

On returning to the UK in 1969, he joined the Merchant Navy as an electrical officer, sailing all over the world with various companies, including P and O and BP. He was accompanied on many trips by his wife Penny, the couple having been married in 1980.

In 1982, he showed great courage in volunteering to serve on a tanker refuelling British Ships in the very dangerous waters during the Falklands War and was awarded the Falkands Medal.

He retired to Lyme in 2000 when the couple became owners of Albany Guest House, in Charmouth Road, which they ran for 10 years before trading in a similar business at Drake’s Cottage, in Coombe Street.

Five years ago, they retired from the holiday industry to live in Iverna, Ferndown Road.

Jimmy, a Freemason and member of Lyme Regis Royal British Legion branch, remained cheerful and active until the end of a terminal illness born with great fortitude.

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