Comment: How John Whiteley was a true inspiration – not Apprentice loser

The Apprentice's Jaz Ampaw-Farr
The Apprentice's Jaz Ampaw-Farr

It’s a shame the Milton Keynes contestant was booted off the new series of ‘The Apprentice.’

And not least because the good lady’s ‘motivational’ techniques included some right howlers.

Yep, I can just imagine how ‘Big Smile’ would go down in your typical warehouse with the boozing and belching brigade.

Which isn’t to be patronising, for within such environs they’re often the only ones with any common sense, and totally immune from ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ syndrome.

But for real motivational types one has only to look at such examples as John Whiteley, commemorated today by Whitely Crescent in Bletchley.

Born in 1898 at Mafeking, where his father had been the Mayor during the famous siege, he was severely wounded in WW1 and with the return of peace made his home at The Grange (now demolished) at Bletchley.

There he would become greatly involved in the civic and social life of North Bucks, and gained election to Parliament in 1937.

At the outbreak of WW2 he resumed military service, and as second in command of the 99 distinguished service in the field he received the OBE, military division, and during 1941 was appointed as Commander of the regiment, and subsequently Colonel.

On promotion to Brigadier he relinquished command of his regiment in India to take up a position at headquarters.

However, returning home on leave he was killed when his plane mysteriously crashed after taking off from Gibraltar.

Also aboard was the prime minister of the Polish Government in Exile and the cause lead to many ‘conspiracy’ theories, with even a television debate chaired by David Frost.

He was buried at Gibraltar and his widow continued to live at The Grange throughout the war.

Eventually she moved to Mixbury Hall, Brackley, and in 1946 the council approved a plan to convert The Grange into four flats and three maisonettes.