John Edward Bennett.

British jazz trombonist and trumpeter.

John Bennett was born in 1936 and passed away from cancer in June 2017.

In 1958 John and Kenny Ball set up Kenny Ball’s Jazzmen, using John’s mother’s maisonette in The Walk as their headquarters and John played trombone with the Kenny Ball Jazzmen well into the 2010s he outliving Kenny by a few years. Their annual Potters Bar concert was always a sell-out gig.

Off stage, a different John was if anything rather shy and diffident. John was a PBDHS member for a very long time and was the author of our best-selling publication on the shooting down of the Zeppelin L31 in 1916. Nobody would expect a professional jazz musician to also be a serious historian, but John was just that. In 2016 he showed a thick file on just how serious his research for the L31 book had been, visiting Frau Mathy, widow of the Zeppelin commander and corresponding with Great War experts in many countries.

Another of his contributions was to collate historic photographs and relevant documents and press cuttings in a series of albums covering all the main roads in the town, these are in geographic order, so easy to understand.

Some years ago, when John was thinking of moving out of Potters Bar, he donated his collection to the museum, where they are readily available for people to study and an extremely useful easy reference.

Our of our volunteers Sarah Bulling has indexed the entire collection and if you click here you can see what an extensive collection it is. JohnBennettFoldersIndexA-Z