Book by a ‘fascinating’ man

JPCT 270112 Photographer John Jochimsen. photo by derek martin
JPCT 270112 Photographer John Jochimsen. photo by derek martin

A former photo-journalist from Southwater who has made a great success of selling memoirs of his life has republished one of his favourite fictional books.

John Jochimsen, 83, has lived through the war and travelled the world working as a photo- journalist and his memoirs ‘80 Years Gone In A Flash’ have enjoyed great popularity.

The Robin Close resident has explained that writing has always come fairly naturally to him.

“Born just before the 30s, during the days of the General Strike and a world recession,I lived through a world war and the blitz on London. Then National Service, followed by me becoming a photo-journalist until I retired.

“My father was a journalist on The Times during the 30s and had a great influence on me, though I very rarely saw him for months on end as he was posted in Paris or Berlin for the paper.”

It took about a year for John to write his memoirs - which have been on sale for more than a year - and much of that time was spent searching for all the photos he has taken over the years, to include in the book.

“It was incredibly difficult to find all my photos because I took many when I worked for the COI [Central Office of Information] and they got rid of their photographic library in 1988. Eventually I found many of them at the Imperial War Museum. They didn’t know what a lot of them were and were only to please to see me!”

After 50 years in photography and an extraordinary life of travel and adventure, John received many accolades for his work. But now this extraordinary man has shown he can write fictional books as well, with the republishing of his novel ‘King’s Flight’.

“When I was working during the war I thought a lot about this story I wanted to write. I’ve written about four other fictional books but decided to publish this one because it’s a damn good story.

“I can’t say too much about the story because I don’t want to give it away but it’s purely a wartime story.

“I had the story in my head for ages but when you start to write a story then it changes. You are taken off by it when you write a book. You are taken over with the story and actually kind of live it, it’s quite an amazing thing.”