the north face ski jacket Family pay tribute to SAS legend Brummie Stokes
ONE of the most famous members of Hereford’s SAS regiment, who scaled the heights of Everest and helped hundreds of children realise their potential, has died at the age of 70.
John ‘Brummie’ Stokes remained active on leaving the army by setting up the Taste for Adventure centre in Credenhill with his wife, Lynn, in 1991.
She said: “You couldn’t help but laugh at Brum. He was a very large character with a large personality and a large heart. He always wanted to help people.”
Samuel said: “It is to show less privileged children that there is more to life and they are capable of more if they are willing to step through that door.”
Brummie was awarded an MBE in 2004 in recognition of his work.
Lynn, 58, said he could talk to anybody and was very inspirational.
She added: “He touched a lot of people’s lives all over the country. Young people, they didn’t forget him. He was like a magnet really. They loved his stories.
“He was just lovely to listen to and that is what I will miss the most the stories.”
The couple met when Lynn worked at the Oxford Arms in Widemarsh Street in 1977.
She said persistence, flowers and cards won her over and they started dating before they married in Hereford’s registry office in 1981.
Brummie loved being a grandad to Arthur, who is 14 months old and the son of Samuel and his wife, Emily. Benjamin and his wife, Lori, live in Bournemouth.
Samuel said: “Dad was a giver, he would just give everything it was just unconditional. He wouldn’t ask questions. All we had to do was ask and it was done. Especially with his time, he was not selfish with his time.”
Benjamin added: “He conquered more than mountains.”
Brummie was diagnosed in 2001 with a lung disease called cryptogenic fibrosing alveolitis and was told he only had two to five years to live.
The family have been overwhelmed by the tributes to Brummie and thanked everybody for their kind words.
Samuel said: “His words were ‘You can be your wildest dreams.'”
Brummie Stokes’ funeral service will be held at Hereford Cathedral from noon on January 22.
They waited for their operations to amputate their toes for three months, after which they had to learn to walk, run and climb again, with only half their feet.
And in 1984, Brummie returned to climb the north face of Everest. An avalanche wiped out the base camp, killing one of the team members and injuring several others. Brummie suffered a broken neck.
After leaving the army in 1985, he obtained a permit from the Chinese to climb the north east ridge of Everest, the only remaining unclimbed route on the mountain.
But, in 1986, at 26,000ft, they were forced to abandon their assault owing to abnormally hazardous weather conditions.
He completed the north east, unclimbed section of the ridge of Mount Everest, but unfortunately suffered three attacks of cerebral oedema, which partially paralysed him.
Lynn said: “There was something special about the mountains for Brummie and Everest was the one for him.”
Brummie outlines many of his challenges in a book, Soldiers Sherpas’ A Taste For Adventure, which is available by contacting the Taste for Adventure Centre through its on Facebook.