Funeral to be held for successful Sheffield businessman

Herbert Whitham
Herbert Whitham
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A man held captive as a Japanese Prisoner of War for three-and-a-half years, who medics feared would not survive, has died - at 94.

Herbert Whitham, from Dronfield Woodhouse, was serving with the RAF in Java when he was taken prisoner.

His first experience of camp life was seeing three servicemen tortured and shot for trying to escape.

Mr Whitham spent time in the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London on his release, with doctors doubtful that he would survive.

But he regained his strength and returned to work at the Sheffield Co-operative Society, where he worked his way up the ranks and went from chief wages clerk, to chief clerk and was eventually appointed as Chief Executive, spending 12 years at the helm before his retirement at 65.

He was also a director at Radio Hallam.

Mr Whitham, who was a member of Hallowes Golf Club in Dronfield for 40 years, was married to his wife Freda for 64 years.

She described the successful businessman as a ‘courageous’ and a ‘devoted and loving husband’.

“He was educated at Ecclesfield Grammar School and went to work in the offices at Sheffield Co-operative Society before joining the RAF in his early 20s and going to war. He came back and was proud to become Chief Executive of the Sheffield Co-operative Society.”

His funeral is to be held at Grenoside Crematorium North at 2.45pm on Thursday.