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Former Ghanaian diplomat who made Maidenhead his home dies aged 101

A former diplomat who dedicated himself to his religion has died at the age of 101.

John Banks Elliott, who lived in Courthouse Road for about 50 years, passed away on Wednesday, July 18. He had fallen ill with pneumonia.

A Second World War veteran and ambassador to the Soviet Union for his native country of Ghana, Mr Elliott will be known locally for his devotion as an Anglican and parishioner at All Saints Church in Boyne Hill.

“He has been a staple in everybody’s life,” said daughter Merci Elliott, 57.

“He has been there, always. It is going to be a huge loss.

“We all miss him a lot.”

Mr Elliott was born in Cape Coast in what was known as the Gold Coast – now Ghana – on February 9, 1917.

He served with Commonwealth troops in Burma in the Second World War and in 1960 became Ghana’s first ambassador to the Soviet Union – a tenure which saw him meet the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

Following political upheaval in Ghana in the Sixties he moved to Maidenhead.

His wife, Jayne Esther Sampennie, died in 2009.

His old home in Courthouse Road is crammed with books and his family keeps a photo album which documents his meetings with royalty.

“Daddy was an intellectual,” said daughter Christina Elliott, 63. “He was a reader. That’s where he got his
information from.”

Last year, a surprise 100th birthday was thrown for Mr Elliott at the Oakley Court Hotel in Windsor Road.

Daughter Jayne Elliott Appenteng, 61, said: “We miss him for sure. We are so grateful (to Mr Elliott).”

The family also thanked the end-of-life and long term need support charity Sue Ryder, which helped Mr Elliott in the final hours of his life.

He leaves behind seven daughters and one son.

A funeral service for Mr Elliott will be held at All Saints Church at 11am on Friday, August 17.

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