THE former MP for Thurrock, Andrew Mackinlay has paid his own personal tribute to Thurrock historian, Jonathan Catton, who passed away on Thursday.
Mr Mackinlay has a deep abiding interest in history and would be seen deep in discussion with Mr Catton at the Thameside museum, Coalhouse Fort and the Purfleet Heritage Museum.
Mr Mackinay said: "Jonathan Catton was an outstanding and enthusiastic historian and skilful curator. He was immensely proud of Thurrock .
The rich collection and maintenance of Thurrock’s archives (of great value to both our generation and those to come) is a legacy he leaves with us.
Jonathan believed that military re-enactment societies promoted and brought to life the trials of earlier generations, in both war and peace .
I have been privileged to enjoy his company in many places. In particular I recall, during my years as a member of Parliament, always enjoying his company and chat at visits to Coal House Fort and Purfleet Heritage centre.
I shall always remember his zeal in reminding our community of the strategic role that Thurrock played in challenging the zeppelins that menaced London and the Thames Estuary 100 years ago.
"I am very sad hearing of Jonathan’s passing. He was an invaluable and dedicated public servant and, most of all, he was also a great friend."