Kim & James Honeymoon 228
James Robert Merritt
  • 39 years old
  • Date of birth: Jan 25, 1977
  • Place of birth:
    Trowbridge, United Kingdom
  • Date of passing: Oct 11, 2016
  • Place of passing:
    Warwick, United Kingdom
Let the memory of James be with us forever

This memorial website featuring a life story, personal tributes, readings, photo's, and stories was created in memory of our loved one, James Merritt.

James was a prince amongst men, a wonderful husband to Kim, a doting "daddy" to Oliver and Evelyn, a fabulous son to Rob & Marilyn as well as being a loving brother to Joanne.  We will miss him, and remember him forever.

Born on January 25th 1977, James tragically died following an accident at work on Tuesday October 11th 2016 aged just 39 years. There is no doubting that his family will feel the sad loss of his passing the hardest, but James was such a lovely man who made a lasting impression on all who knew him, that many, many people will be feeling that this is far too soon for the world to be losing one of life's good guys.

However, knowing James as we do, we all must realise that he would never want us to be feeling any sadness. The greatest part of James was his kindness, and his caring attitude towards everybody, and he would want all of us to remember him that way - so let us all follow his examples, by adding our own happy messages here in honour of our friend.

Please feel free to share your personal tributes here. post us your photo's, leave a message along with a photo if you want to, tell us a story of the times you spent with James, or you can add a song that reminds you of him, or even upload a video if you like.  
We will be delighted to share you experiences of James, and together we will pay our respects to the loving person that was James Robert Merritt 

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 11th March 2018

"We missed you this Mother’s Day James!
Spoke to your mum and wished her all the best xx
Spoke to myself and hoped your happy wherever you are.
Spoke with Oliver and hope you’re looking down on both him and Evie and feel happy with what you see.
Miss you every day!!

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 2nd March 2018

"Hiya JB,

Gwen and I were standing alongside your Mum, Dad and Kim today as the vicar laid your remains to rest at the Village Church.

Church ceremonies always feel too sombre for my liking, but it felt right & proper to give you a final resting place. So your body has gone from us now, but your spirit lives on with us all - especially in Olly and Evie. Your children are wonderful JimBob.

We all just miss you so much, and wish you could be here with them.

I suppose we will always wish that we could have had you with us for a while longer, and though we couldn't have that wish - we do have the many treasured memories that you left with us.

You made a lasting impression here James.

Wherever you are now - Journey well now my friend.

Love from now.2  xxxx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 14th February 2018

"Happy Valentine’s Day to my wonderful husband in heaven xxx

This tribute was added by Gwen Gowen on 25th January 2018

"Hi James
Today is your birthday, but it won't be a Happy Birthday because you are not here to share it with us. We will remember all the birthdays past and talk about all the happy times we spent together as a family.  Kim, Oliver and Evie still miss you deeply as do we all, we keep your memory alive for the children and help Kim whatever her needs may be.  You are always in our thoughts James, we love you dearly mom 2 xx"

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 25th January 2018

"Hiya JB, and Happy Birthday to you !!

We have very mixed feelings todays mate.

Kim and Olly have invited me to go to the house and have a slice of your cake, so we will celebrate your birthday later today mate.

There will be lots of smiles.
Kim has decorated your cake with Stars (Olly looks for you in the stars) and I am sure that Evie will make a big fuss about blowing out the candles.   It will be fun, and I am really looking forward to it.

At the same time it's just so hard for us to get past the feeling that you should be here celebrating with us.

We miss you every day JB - but especially today.
I hope you are happy mate - wherever you may be.

Journey well my friend.
Love from Nos.2  xxxx"

This tribute was added by Pete Slade on 25th January 2018

"Happy Birthday Mate! A day of mixed emotions for everyone.

Thinking of you everyday. Miss you everyday."

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 25th January 2018


Today we should be wishing you a happy birthday and it still feels strange that you’re not here with us!!

Birthdays were always such fun weren’t they? Balloons and banners, presents in bed and then a cake and candles!! I always enjoyed making a fuss of you on your special day!

We’ll be thinking of you today and there will be a balloon here for you!
Oliver chose you a chocolate birthday cake and the children will blow out your candles as we remember you xxxxx

You’re always in our thoughts xx

Love Kim xxx"

This tribute was added by josh gowen on 31st December 2017

"Miss you so much uncle merritt, wish you were here. Happy new year, hope your in a better place. Love you"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 31st December 2017

We draw 2017 to a close and think of all the things that have happened in the last 12 months.........
Celebrating your 40th birthday in January, taking the children to Florida, having a holiday with your family in Dorset and watching our beautiful children grow!!
It has been a year filled with much pain but also many smiles!
I sit here wondering what 2018 will bring and whilst you won’t be here with us experiencing life I hope you will be watching and smiling down on us!!
I will help your parents, sister, nieces and above all your children to see the beauty and happiness life has to offer. 2018 will be a wonderful year with you forever in our thoughts and our heart!
Happy New Year my Prince xxx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 25th December 2017

"Dear James
We come to the end of our second Christmas Day without you and it has been filled with old memories as well as new beginnings.
Both of which have raised a lot of emotions and a desire to talk to you about them!
Oliver and Evie have been magical once again and make me prouder than ever. I know you would be equally proud of our beautiful children and would delight in the excitement they have felt today!
I hope wherever you are that you have been watching as Oliver turns into a kind, caring and sensitive young man, and Evie blossoms into a happy, smiley, delightful little girl!
You are forever in our thoughts and hearts as we journey on into our future, one which will be filled with happiness and love, as you would have wished for us.
Sleep well my Prince xx"

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 25th December 2017

"Merry Christmas to ya Jim Bob.

It's difficult saying (or writing) that line mate, because we still have a lot of pain from losing you - and not having you here to share days like today with Kim, Olly, Evie and the rest of us is especially hard.

But even though it tugs on our emotions, we still speak of you often James, and on days like today we always raise a glass in your honour.

We can't have you at our table anymore - but you are always in our hearts.

Journey well my friend.
Love from nos. 2 xxxx"

This tribute was added by Pete Slade on 25th December 2017

"Merry Christmas mate!!

I'm sure you're looking down on us all on this special day - miss you loads and always thinking of you


This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 22nd November 2017

"I miss you xxx"

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 16th November 2017

"Hiya JB.
16th November.
Do they have dates and calendars where you are now bud?

Today we have another one of those memorable dates for our family - this is the day on which we celebrate our "Little Chef's" birthday.
Little Chef (HeHe) can you recall when I gave Olly that nickname?

Oliver is 7 today --- and for Kim & you plus those of us who witnessed Olly's early months and early years, and saw how many battles he has had to fight to survive, it seems a great achievement that he has reached this day.

It saddens us all (especially Kim and your kiddies) that you cannot be here to see it for yourself mate,  but I can tell you about what a wonderful little boy Olly has become. He is a real reflection of you in so many ways.

Olly is a quiet, respectful lad, he is nervous of most new things that he see's - yet he is brave enough to face up to all the challenges he faces (just as you became JimBob)

He misses you mate -- he often tells us that he does, sometimes he is clearly feeling sad when he says it, other times he tells us that he just wished you were here so that you could help him build a new Lego Toy, or show him how to figure out a new game on iPad.

His greatest wish today would be to have you with him. We all wish for that, unfortunately that is the one birthday wish we can't give to him.

Instead I shall try to choose the kind of gift that might be something which you would have chosen to give him yourself - and when I give it to him I will give him an extra hug, just for you........ and for good measure I will do the same with Evie.

So as I stated - today is another memorable day, and I felt it appropriate to log-in and show that you are still a big part of our thoughts and our memories mate.

For now I have to go.
Journey well wherever you are my Friend.

Love from nos.2  xxxx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 15th November 2017

"Hi James

Exactly 7 years ago we were in a hospital theatre room waiting to see if our premature baby was alive!  It was the most frightening night of my life and I was totally devastated that I couldn’t keep our baby safe!
But then you looked at me and smiled, and said “look at the clock”.
It was 12.10 and you said to me “you will always remember that this was the time our son was born!”

You looked so proud to be a daddy and your strength poured out of you and wrapped me up, making me feel safe and protected by my wonderful husband!!  

It was a difficult introduction to parenthood but you faced every challenge head on and held my hand through it all!!! You were a wonderful father right from the word go!!

Tonight, I sit here alone reflecting on the night Oliver was born and all the things that have happened to him in the last seven years!! It hurts that you are the only one I could share those memories with.

You would be so proud of the beautiful boy Oliver has become James!! He is sensitive, caring, polite and kind. All the things that you were my prince!!!

It breaks my heart that you can’t be here with us celebrating our sons 7th birthday, he is so excited and has some lovely celebrations to look forward to. But there will be a painful reminder as I look at the empty chair where you should be sat that his daddy won’t enjoy those celebrations with him!!

I pray that you’re watching your amazing, courageous son today and feel all the love for him that I do, and that we all feel for you!!!
Life goes on without you James, but we never ever forget you and I will make sure Oliver always knows what a wonderful dad he had!

We loved you yesterday, and love you still. Always have, always will

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 11th November 2017

"We may be walking a different path nowadays but our love for you is as strong as ever James!
We love you and miss you everyday my Prince xxxxx
I hope you’re happy wherever you may be xxx"

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 1st November 2017

"1st November.
Thinking of you mate.

Love from nos.2  xxx"

This tribute was added by Glen Gowen on 11th October 2017

"Hello James
Haven't posted in here for a while.
I hope wherever you may be today, you are well. It's strange to think That it's been year a now. Yet it seems to have flown by so fast. I still remember you asking me, "when are you and Amy getting married?" "are you gonna do it in Florida".
We did mate and it was amazing.  It was hot though wearing a 3 piece suit over there. I was sweating that much, you would have thought I've I'd been stood out in the rain if you felt my shirt. You may not have been with us there physically. But I sure felt your presence that day mate. You helped me through it all without any tears. Although Amy did tell me off later, saying why didn't you cry haha.
Little Evie was chuffed to bits during the ceremony, she was holding Amy's hand as they walked the aisle, bless her. Then a couple days later Oliver shocked all of us. He came on the Aerosmith ride with us, do you remember that 1 mate? He absolutely loved it. The look on his face on the photo was brilliant. It still makes me laugh every time I see it.
As for Kim. I can't say enough for her. She's a hero to all of us. You would be so proud of all 3 of them mate. I know I am.
It's been a crazy 12 months really,  where I still think of you all the time mate. Your often in my dreams, back in Florida together or racing each other on a formula track.
I miss you mate
I will be raising a glass tonight in honour of you
See you again 1 day but for now, sleep tight my brother
Love you x x x"

This tribute was added by John Gowen (jnr) on 11th October 2017

"Well mate, it's one year on since you left us so tragically, and although much has happened since that truly awful day, we all still miss you more than can possibly say, and think about you all the time.

I'll always feel blessed to have known you and feel both proud and honoured that I can call you brother. You inspired me James, and if the World had a few more people like you, it would be a far better place to live.

I'll never forget you mate, and will be raising a glass tonight in your memory (if I could get hold of a Pink Fish, would definitely have one or two of those).

Love you loads brother. Always xxxxx"

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 11th October 2017

"Your passing gave us pain & heartaches
that we don't know how to heal.
You being here with us gave us great memories
that no one can ever steal.

Thanks for the memories JimBob, we treasure them always.

Missing you mate.
Love from nos.2  xxxx"

This tribute was added by Pete Slade on 11th October 2017

"Well mate, one year of our lives has passed by without you. Today will be a difficult day for everyone. Hopefully we’ll make it a day like any other – reminiscing about good times and thinking nice thoughts and the fact we were so lucky to be part of your life, but at the same time, inevitably it’ll be tinged with sorrow and sadness.

Kim continues to amaze us by how well she has coped and dealt with every situation, every significant day or date and I’d imagine today will be one of the hardest for her and the rest of your family. Our thoughts go out to them all today.

Some of us are heading to the Somerset Arms, Semington tonight for a quiet drink – we will raise our glasses to you and be thinking of you.

You’re still in our thoughts everyday

Miss you buddy"

This tribute was added by Gwen Gowen on 11th October 2017

"James, a year has passed by since we lost an amazing son-in-law. It still feels totally inconceivable that such a wonderful person was taken from our lives when he had so much to live for.

We think about you every day and remember all the good times (and some of the not so good) that we shared with you.

Everyone loved you James, you bought so much fun and joy to our family, your calm, lovely personality touched all who met you, they too were shocked at your sudden departure from our lives.  We all miss you terribly.  

Oliver and Evie are growing up fast and Oliver talks about you often, we will never let them forget what a kind and generous daddy they had.

Kim misses you still, but she is trying to give the children everything she knows you would have wanted them to have and do everything you would have wanted to do with them, they are a credit to both of you.

We know you are watching over Kim, Oliver and Evie, your light shines bright in the evening sky.

We talk about you often James, you will always be part of our lives and are FOREVER MISSED!

Love Gwen xxxxxx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 10th October 2017

"Sleep in peace my Prince, we miss you every day xxx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 10th October 2017

"Your life was a blessing
Your memory is a treasure
You are loved beyond words
And missed beyond measure xx"

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 2nd October 2017

"Hiya JB,
This is nos.2 signing in for a chat.
I hope that things are good wherever you are.

Today is Monday October 2nd - it's been almost one whole year now since you passed and as the anniversary of that awful day approaches our emotions are heightened - and not in a good way.    

We miss you each day JB, but some days & some dates in the calendar seem to make us feel more sorrowful.

Not all days & dates are sorrowful mate. Kim insists that we remember you in positive ways, and she is an inspiration to us all.

But October 11th is one reminder that we don't really want to have.
Such days do hurt more - and it's difficult to know what to say or do.

What i can say is this:-
Kim, Olly and Evie are making 28 Cherry Lane into a real happy place again JB.    The greatest tribute that anyone can make to your memory is being made by Kim and by Olly every day.

They regularly share chats and photo's of you with Evie.
With Kim's guidance the children are developing lovely personalities.
Olly is doing really well at school now, and making lot's of friends.

The three of them are loved by everyone - and they have been a tremendous help to your Mom Dad.  Your parents seem genuinely uplifted by your wife and kiddies.

You can be proud of them James.

I am gonna sign off now mate.
Good to "chat" with you as ever.
Love from nos. 2  xxxx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 17th September 2017

"Hi James
We're here celebrating Evie's third birthday with Matilda and Joshua just like we did last year. Only this year you're not with us and being without you is as heartbreaking now as it was all those months ago when we lost you.
You wouldn't believe Evie if you saw her now, the grown up girl she's becoming and the relationship she has with Oliver, it would make your heart soar to see how close they are becoming.
We miss you everyday and today is another milestone in our lives without you in it!!
We miss you everyday and love you as much as ever.
You were and are the best daddy that Oliver and Evie could wish for!
Love you and miss you
Kim xxx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 8th September 2017

"I try not to miss
I try to let go
But in the end
You're always on my mind
And loving you is all I know xxx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 7th September 2017

"Hi James
Lying at home thinking of you!! This time last year you were packing for Barcelona and looking forward to a few days away with your friends. You were so happy and seeing you smile made my heart sore!!
I see your smile in our house everyday and I miss hearing your laugh but I see you in Oliver and Evie and I get the same soaring feeling!
You were a wonderful husband and father but more than that you were my best friend.
Miss you everyday my prince!!!!
Sleep well xxxx"

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 31st August 2017

"Hiya JimBob,

T'was Johnno's 40th birthday yesterday, and little Evie becomes three years old tomorrow. Thinking of ya lot's bud, and wishing you were here to share these days with us.  

I'll give Evie an extra hug tomorrow - just for you.
Love from nos.2  xxx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 29th July 2017

It's been an eventful week with many difficult moments. Last Friday should have been our ten year wedding anniversary and my heart felt heavy as I approached the day without you. The children and I went to the Forest of Arden with mum, dad, John and Bella and we toasted you and the wonderful wedding day we had ten years ago.

It's difficult to think that we didn't make that milestone together, though we often talked about it and the many many years we would spend together. Whilst it was cut short, I know that our marriage was a good one and we had so much to be thankful for, not least the love we shared.

And then we experienced the inquest into your death which was particularly painful and full of emotion. The outcome was a formality and changed nothing as we still live on without you and face a future that you are not a physical part of. That said you will always be a part of our lives as I will make sure Oliver and Evie know who their dad was and how much you loved them.

I will dedicate my life to our children James, they will always know what it is to have love in their lives and I will be the best mum and dad I can be for both of us.

I have taken some time to recover and gather my strength in order that I can fulfil that promise from now on. I am in Nice, thinking of you and processing all that has happened in this last week. I hope you can see me James, I'm determined to find some happiness in the life I have to live without you. I hope you understand how much I need this time to say goodbye to you once more my prince. I wonder if one day I will see you again?

You will always have a place in my heart James and I will remember the love and happiness we shared. For now I need to let you go and move forward with Oliver and Evie but i hope that you will never be far away.

All my love, I will never forget

Kim xxx"

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 21st July 2017

"Hiya Jim Bob.
21st July.
I wish I could be sharing today with you mate.
But that can't be.
What I can do is spend some time in here with you and reminisce a little.

'Twas Ten years ago today that you married my daughter.
It was a "Special Day"
I used that phrase in my wedding speech didn't I?
During that speech I vowed that I would treat you as my own son, and that I would try my best to become like a second Dad to you.

I remember that day well, and it makes me very proud to be able to say that later on you would sometimes refer to me as being "nos.2"(AKA dad nos.2)

I will treasure that feeling for as long as I live JB

So many memories.
The many varied positions that the photographer set-up so that she could try to create memorable photo's for you.
The speeches.
Conversations I had with members of your family and friends and how their journey's had been affected by the bad weather.

No doubt in time some of those thoughts will fade.
That is just the nature of life.
But I will keep the happy memories to the fore.

One of my favourite memories of that day is of how I danced in the empty reception room at the end of the evening.
I stayed there until all of your guests had drifted away from the room and then on a whim I just got up and waltzed my way around the room (in a fashion) - savouring the moment.

Feeling happy.

Knowing in my heart that a good thing had just happened in my life.

I can still vividly recall making jokes with the staff who were removing rubbish & linen from the tables, packing away chairs, getting the room ready for the next day.

That day was special.

Tonight when all of my family are asleep in bed I am going to celebrate that day Jim Bob - I am going to stand up alone and waltz (in a fashion!!!) around my room and remember you my friend.

Ten years may have gone, sadly you have now gone also, but you will never be forgotten mate.

It was good to reminisce with you.
Thanks for the memories you left us.

Love from Nos. 2 xx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 6th July 2017

Seven years ago today we got the keys to our new home knowing that our first baby was on the way and we were entering the next chapter in our lives.
We were so full of happiness and hope for the future and talked about the lifetime of memories we were going to create in our new home.  I still don't have my new kitchen (though I'm working on it) and I no longer have you, and it's hard living in our home knowing you will no longer share it with us!
The children make it a happy place and you are still there in every room, memories of the lifetime we had that just didn't last long enough.

So the children and I are on to the next chapter of our lives and our home is changing as we do. We are all finding new and exciting ways to find happiness but I will never forget there is a small piece of heaven in our home, and we will cherish it no matter what comes our way xxx

Hope you're happy too, love always
Kim xxx"

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 18th June 2017


We're thinking of you today Jim Bob,
but that ain't nothing new.
We thought about you yesterday
and we will tomorrow too.

I think of you mostly in silence now,
i try not to let it show.
For what it meant to lose you
only those who loved you really know.

Remembering you is easy mate,
We do it every day.
It's the hurt we feel from not having you here,
That just won't go away.

Thanks for the memories........

Love from Nos.2 xx

PS -
Your wife and kiddies are a tribute to you James.
Seeing them together is always a treat, and makes life more worthwhile. You can be proud of them mate."

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 12th June 2017

"I miss you James x"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 27th May 2017


We're in Florida for Glen and Amy's wedding and there have been so many magical moments for the children and I to experience. But not having you here with us is so very sad and painful.
I see you everywhere I go and I wish you could be here to share this time with us.

Oliver said he hopes that you're happy in heaven, I also hope that's true.  We try every day to make our days happy even though we live on without our wonderful husband and daddy. Life is not the same and never will be again without you James.

Today I will continue trying to build happy lives for Oliver and Evie but I will think of you and miss you more than ever.  No matter how many people I'm surrounded by there is a loneliness in my heart where you used to be!

I love you James, always have, always will xxxx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 21st April 2017

"Hey James
Did I tell you that I love you? Because I do xxxxxxx"

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 11th April 2017

"Hiya JimBob

Today is another of those "milestone" days - six months since you passed. Six months of missing you mate.

Somehow these days sort of feel like anniversaries - or days of significance. But more with each day these milestones actually become less significant to me, it doesn't matter whether it's six months, or six days, or whatever day is marked on the calendar, because I think of you all the time. I don't need a milestone for that.

Today actually feels like a good day to "log-in and chat with you JB.
Here goes:-

It's a nice sunny spring day here bud - calm and warm.
A nice day to be out & about.
I think Kim may be taking Olly out with his playmates today.
Gwen and I were with Kim and the kiddies last night - and she received a text inviting them to join some friends at Hatton Park. I hope they go and have some fun.
Have a peep-in on them if you get the chance JB.

If you are not able to "peep" - then I can tell you via here that Kim and the Kids are all healthy and well JB.

Kim is certainly not the same without you.
Her love for you is apparent in all that she does. Her sadness is also clear. Without you being here she often seems lost, her concentration on things that people say to her is poor, I am sure that she must find nights alone very difficult.   Yet through all of these difficulties she is doing a wonderful job in the way she is raising the kids JB.

Kim and the kiddies talk about you all the time, and in all situations.
(watching this can certainly tug on the heart strings) it's lovely to see how natural it is for them to still include you in their daily life

Oliver is rapidly becoming his father's son, - just like you in many ways - and Evie is a little beauty.
Her personality shines through in her every move.
Olly often ignores her whilst he plays with his toys (I am told that you were exactly the same way with Joanne !!) - and it's funny to watch how Evie scolds him for doing it.

I took Olly to the golf club to have a few putts yesterday -- I reckon he will soon be a better putter than you were JimBob - HaHa - you never could putt could ya!!
but Olly has some way to go before he can drive it like you did JB.

It would have been special if the three of us had gotten to play a game golf together wouldn't it ?

After we finished putting, Olly sat in a Golf Buggy -- I promised him that I would let him drive one when he is big enough - so he had a try in the drivers seat, and to be fair his feet were almost reaching the pedals, so now he reckons that he will be driving one by the time he is seven !!

We had fun, and we spoke about you while we were doing it.

I suppose I had better bring this note to a close now mate - and get back to doing some work. I have enjoyed "chatting" with you again JB.
Writing like this can't compare to having you here with us --- but it helps us to keep you as close as we can, so I will come back and "chat" again soon mate.

Bye For Now.
Love from nos.2 xx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 10th April 2017

"Dearest James
Six months ago I was lying in your arms while we talked about how precious life is and how we wanted to make every day count, building special memories together.
I still can't believe that was our last proper conversation and the awful irony of what happened next. If I'd known the next morning that when you went to work you wouldn't come home I would never have let you go!!
I miss you every minute of every day and I feel so sad that we didn't get to realise that last promise we made to each other. I can only promise to live on and make every day count for me and the kids. I promise to make you proud and I hope you're somewhere watching and smiling.
I am so grateful that the last time I saw you you were smiling and laughing and I hope one day I will see your smile again and lie in your arms once more.
Loved you yesterday, love you still, always have, always will.
Kim xxx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 12th March 2017

"Hi James,

Yesterday we marked 5 months since seeing you last, it feels like an eternity without you. The kids and I spent a lovely weekend in Wiltshire with the family and also caught up with Pete and Vicky. The children have been fantastic and we have enjoyed some smiles!! You are never far from our thoughts and our conversations though James, you are missed so much my prince.

I lie here every night wishing I could talk to you and desperately wishing the children could cuddle you goodnight. You would be so proud to see what wonderful people they are.

I love you James, always have, always will.

Goodnight my prince, all my love from Kim xxx"

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 2nd March 2017

"Hello James, and hello to anyone else that reads these pages.
Today is Thursday 2nd March, i'm sat at my desk thinking of James, also of Kim and of their two lovely kiddies - and it just feels kinda right to log-in here and write.

This is now the 20th week since JB passed, and him not being with us has left such a hole in the lives of his family that it's hard not to be sad.

But I can't allow myself think of James in a sad way - I (we) loved him so much that I am determined to be as upbeat as possible -- simply because I can't find a better way in which I can honour my friend.

So many things have happened since Oct 11th that It seems a long time. Yet it also seems just a few moments ago since JB and I were sat together talking.  

I would do anything to have those chats again.

I know that many, many, more of you will have those same feelings. JB had that affect didn't he ?

He didn't often dominate our conversations, probably because i'm naturally chatty, and he wasn't - but he always made me feel that he was happy just to be sharing time with me. Though I would do most of the talking, his was the voice that I sought if I needed an opinion.

I've often wondered if JB was more chatty when he was with other folks that are not as talkative a me ? - I suspect that he would always be the listener rather than the speaker - but maybe some of you would tell me of a time when he was with you and he went on and on about something or other. perhaps some of you could write and let me know.

Oh well, I've probably written enough already, so I'd better sign out now - just wanted James (and you) to know that we keep him in our thoughts, and our conversations.

Keep Smiling xx"

This tribute was added by Pete Slade on 1st February 2017

"Hey mate - Kim did you proud for your 40th birthday party on Saturday. There was a good turnout of people and several of the cement works lot also turned up. It was the right thing to do for you and I know you would have been looking down on us and smiling. The night was capped off by us all raising a glass and enjoying a shot of Tequila Rose - one of your favourite drinks! (One was saved for you). There was some dancing, (not by me I might add!), drinking, eating and also lots of photos taken - to keep those special memories of the night.
Thinking of you as always mate."

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 25th January 2017

"Happy Birthday Jim Bob. Lots of love from nos.2 xx"

This tribute was added by Glen Gowen on 25th January 2017

"Thinking of you today! Hope you there smiling down on us all. I will being raising a glass tonight and Saturday for you.
You was in my dreams a couple nights ago. We were in Florida for mine and Amy's wedding. And we snuck off in our suits to go on the hulk roller coaster. Missing you loads. Happy birthday mate love you x"

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 25th January 2017

"for Kim, Oliver & Evie .........

Light a candle, see it glow
Watch it dance whenever you feel low

Think of James as you look at that light
And he'll be there with you, day or night

As the candle flickers, he may be out of sight
But inside of your hearts he'll still be burning bright

So think not of sadness, because James may not be near
See him in that flickering flame and you'll never have any fear

His body may have left here now, but his love it hasn't gone
It's will always be right beside you, for you are his special ones

So whenever you light a candle, whenever you watch it glow
Whenever you see a flame dancing, in your heart you will always know
James won't ever leave you, especially when you're blue
He's sitting with the Angels now, but he's watching over you."

This tribute was added by Pete Slade on 25th January 2017

"Happy birthday mate! We'll all be thinking of you on your special day. Although a day to celebrate, its also a day of sadness.

We all miss you so much.

Its so strange that you are not here with us, but we all know you're looking down and smiling on us.

We will be celebrating your birthday on Saturday at the White Horse Country Park and we shall look back on many, many happy memories of you and how you made all our lives better and more fulfilling.

You kindly bought me a bottle of ale for my 40th birthday so I shall drink that tonight and toast to you!

Our thoughts go out to Kim, Oliver, Evie and your entire family.

Happy birthday my special friend"

This tribute was added by Gwen Gowen on 25th January 2017

"Today should have been a day to celebrate your 40th birthday, but you  were taken from us far too soon.
Instead we will try not to weep and we will remember all the years you were part of our family.
We will remember all the happy moments we shared together, the ups and downs of family life and thoughts of what might have been.

Dear James, you are always with us in spirit and not a day goes by when we dont think of you with all the love you deserve, we miss you every day but the memory will not fade, we will keep it alive for Kim and your beautiful children Oliver and Evie.

Love you always, Gwen (mom 2)"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 24th January 2017


As your 40th birthday approaches I have thought so much about what I want to write to you, and what I would say to you if only I had the chance. I have thought about this momentous occasion for many months and you know there would have been a very special celebration planned for you, I would have tried to get close to the amazing New York trip we had for your 30th!!

Sadly, this was not meant to be and I have so missed the opportunity to spoil you and show you how special you are, and how much I love you. As a celebration of your life we are holding a party in Wiltshire on Saturday in your memory. Unsurprisingly lots of your friends and family will be there to toast the amazing man you are. Oliver and Evie will also be there and we'll try to recreate the fun we had at Pete and Vicky's wedding with a photo booth. I hope it will be a fun evening with lots of stories and smiles about your life, maybe a bit of dancing too.

I don't know how we will get through tomorrow without you James, it won't feel right not having you here and I, along with the children, your parents, Joanne and Simon and the Gowen family will think of you every minute I'm sure. We're determined to raise a glass and a smile for you James, I pray that you're watching and smiling! Oliver will blow out your birthday candles and we'll all make a wish for you.

I miss you everyday my prince, there is a huge void in my heart and my life that I fear no one will ever be able to fill. I am so grateful though that I had the best of you and we shared so many happy years together.

Someone told me recently that life is like a story book filled with many different chapters, we just don't know how many pages we will turn or how our story will end. I am still so shocked by how your story has ended James but I know that the chapters are filled with so many amazing memories and your story is very special. The greatest gift that I can give you now on your 40th birthday is the promise that I will tell your story and never let it be forgotten. In the end I think that's all any of us can hope for, and I know that with the help of our families and beautiful children your story, your life and your legacy will live on forever James.

Happy birthday my prince

All my love, now and always

Kim xxxx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 25th December 2016

"Merry Christmas James xx"

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 25th December 2016

"i had to log-in and send seasons greetings to you JB.

We miss you so much mate. It's been a tough time without you, but I didn't come in here to write because you died - I want to write because of how you lived.

You made our lives a better place JB, and though you cannot be here with us physically now, you are in our hearts and in our thoughts everywhere we go.

We love ya Jim Bob and we will keep that love with us always.

"Happy Christmas" mate.  Love from Nos.2 xx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 24th December 2016

"Dearest James,

Christmas is upon us and your absence is felt now more than ever. Oliver and Evie are sleeping peacefully, excited for the day that lays ahead for them but they will miss their daddy tomorrow and we will all think about you, wishing you could be with us.

We will raise a glass and toast to you and talk about you all day long. Living our first Christmas without you will be impossibly hard but I'm determined to raise a smile and make it a happy day for our beautiful children.

You would be so proud of them tomorrow James, I hope and pray that you're watching in with a smile on your face. I miss you my prince.

All my love now and forever.

Kim xxxx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 23rd December 2016

"We missed you tonight James, it would have been wonderful to have you with us. An evening in Wiltshire with friends, celebrating Christmas and enjoying love and laughter together in Bradford. It was so hard being without you tonight but we raised a glass for you and talked about wonderful memories of you.

My prince, coming home alone without you is so desperately hard, there is a hole in my heart that no one else can fill. I love you now like I always did, truly, deeply and without question.

I hope you are happy wherever you are, I wish I could be with you. Merry Christmas my prince.

I love you xxxxx"

This tribute was added by Pete Slade on 22nd December 2016

"Hey mate - it’s been just over two months now. Still missing you loads.

I’m going to carry on talking about you in the way in which I always have.

So on that note, I was thinking to myself whilst watching the new series of “The Grand Tour” the other day on Amazon – “I wonder what Jasper would have made of this”. I’m sure you would love it as you always liked your Top Gear – it is funny I must admit. Otherwise, life carries on at a relentless pace but you’re always in our thoughts every day.

A fundamental part is missing from not just my life but for everyone that knew you.

There have been some occasions recently where I have really needed your support and words of wisdom and just your general supportive and positive perspective – it’s strange how much you take things for granted – a  really weird feeling and I miss it a huge amount.

We’ll all be thinking of you and the family over the festive period"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 14th December 2016

"Today is another day without you James, another day mixed with so many emotions. We keep pushing on, trying to find our new life and our new normality now that you're not with us.

I hope that you and everyone who knows you will be proud to know that in your name we raised £1115 for Cancer Research!!  An enormous amount of money and an enormous tribute to you!

I hope you are happy wherever you are.  I loved you yesterday, I love you still, always have, always will xx"

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 14th December 2016

"I dreamt of you last night JB.
we were sitting together up in the Skyline Lounge at Edgbaston looking down at the cricket. Dreams flit around lots don't they? At first we were just watching, then we were playing pranks on the players and all the crowd were laughing. Then we were in the Club Shop and they presented us with Hoodies & Shirts. It was so vivid and clear, when I woke up it felt like you had been here with me - it was a nice warm feeling and I feel great this morning. I am even seeing better today.

I don't know if it's the dream that is making me feel so good, or your influence, but either way - Thanks JB.

Christmas is getting close. We have all been avoiding the topic of christmas. We are all a bit muted. Probably because we don't know how to approach it knowing that you won't be down here with us - I guess we are all nervous of being sad. But the dream has lifted me mate. i suppose you could say it has inspired me. it has certainly reminded me that you are still all around us JB, and it has given me an idea of something we can do this year.

I realise now that you will be looking in on us during Christmas Day - of course you will take a little peep on the 1st xmas you are not sitting here with us. So I am gonna have a little surprise for you.
I know that you will love it JB.

I gonna go and get started on this surprise now mate.
Until we speak again. Love from Nos.2 xx"

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 6th December 2016

"8 weeks since you passed JB - I miss you so much mate, sometimes that hurts, and I must admit that I find Tuesdays tough. But I am gonna get to grips with that asap 'cause I still love thinking of ya bud, I always will, and I want my thoughts to be upbeat - just as the conversations we had always were.

I hope your new life is full of wonder JB, with lots for you to learn and to explore. Have you found a new consciousness now mate? Is that how it works? I hope it does work that way.

I Gotta go and get on with my work again now mate.
Speak with you again soon. Love from Nos.2 xx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 8th November 2016

"A month since you've been gone and our lives still carry on!
The love we shared will never be lost!
Looking forward to the party on Sunday, hope you're watching on xxx"

This tribute was added by L M on 7th November 2016

"God gives hope to see the ones we loss in death again.This scripture at (john5:28,29)says Do not be amazed at this,for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tomb will here his voice and come out". may you all continue to hold the precious memories of your dearly beloved James close to your hearts and know that Jesus Christ ransom sacrifice is our guarantee that our dear loved ones are held in gods memory and very soon we will see them again."

This tribute was added by A Friend on 3rd November 2016

"That funeral, and subsequent life celebration party were a fitting tribute to James. The way that Kimberley stood up, held back her tears and spoke of her husband was amazing and will live with me for a long time.

Christmas will be with us soon, then other Anniversaries, Birthdays, Fathers day etc will come and go when James is not with us.

When those days arrive please do not be sad.
Do not cry for what we have lost.
Smile for what we had"

This tribute was added by Amy James on 2nd November 2016

"Such fond memories of growing up with James. Weekends away at car rallies with our dads. Getting up to all sorts of mischief at our grans. We had so much fun and I am thankful that we kept in touch during adulthood. James and Kim always making special efforts to see us when you were back in Wiltshire. I can't quite believe he has gone. Such a loss. We'll miss you always. My cousin Jim. Love Amy & Adam, Charlie & Fred xxxx"

This tribute was added by Thomas Howard on 1st November 2016

"James was a wonderful guy with a big heart and someone who I have working with over the last 7 years. A true professional and a perfectionist when it came to work. A real family man who talked about his children & wife every time I saw him.
He will be truly missed by all.
Tom H"

This tribute was added by Clare Moon on 1st November 2016

"New James from a baby born to a genital caring family grew into a lovely family man. Can't believe we are all here today, still unable to express on words how I feel   Veronica and family"

This tribute was added by Libby Gowen on 1st November 2016

"From Jenny and Roger
Lost for words, a perfect family broken. James will be in our hearts forever and his memory lives on in Oliver and Evie. Lots of love."

This tribute was added by Clare Moon on 1st November 2016

"First meeting with James was when Kimberley introduced him to us at one of the many family get together. Straight away we knew James and Kimberley were perfect for each other.
James you will be really missed not just by the people you knew every day but by the people who's lives you came into contact with. It is so unfair that you have been taken from the people that know and love you. A true genuine nice gentleman.
God bless x The moonies x"

This tribute was added by Libby Gowen on 1st November 2016

"Written by Josh Gowen

Where to start? Honesty I don't know... but let's give it a shot. Uncle Merit was one of the best men I've ever known and will always be. Me, all the gowens and the rest of the family are so lucky to have such an amazing guy come into our family. James's  memory will always live on and he'll always be in all our heart! I love you and will miss you forever. Heaven has surely gain another angel! Xx"

This tribute was added by Libby Gowen on 1st November 2016

"James, Uncle Merritt as Josh introduced you to us. Me and James had such a special bond that I will never forget. James introduced me to photography. I remember as a kid I would come to visit you and Kim and you would let me use your camera. I was mesmerised. You gave me that gift that I will always treasure and enjoy. You inspired me more than most. You was my cool uncle I wanted your camera but because of how expensive they are I had the one below but you are the reason I wanted that and asked for it.
You inspired me that much you helped me get into university without even knowing it. I wrote admirably about you in my personal statement. I remember taking pictures of some tomatoes and we took Kim's crystals and her best wine glasses and put them in there and had fun shooting. I couldn't do that with anyone else. Then where we had the sheet up little Olly come under the easel with joey and was smiling. I still have the pictures and will keep them forever.
I admired your passion more than anything. You always made the time to ask how uni was going and even sent me pictures of baby Evie through WhatsApp and asked me to edit them. I love you with all my heart and more James."

This tribute was added by Gwen Gowen on 1st November 2016

"James, we say goodbye to you today but you will never be forgotten, you will be in our thoughts everyday.  You were are very special person to us all, when your daughter marries you want her to be with someone who will love and care for her, as you have, as parents,  throughout her life.  James you did this a million times over, no one could have wished for a better son in law, to me you were a fourth son, you were so kind and always willing to help with any problems.  We will ensure your children grow up remembering what a fabulous father and husband you were, even though you were taken from us all too soon.  

Rest in Peace James until we all meet again, love Gwen xxx"

This tribute was added by Pete Slade on 31st October 2016

"Jasper, my wonderful friend. Nothing was ever too much trouble for you and I could always rely upon you for your support and help. I'm so grateful to have been a part of your life and to see you grow from an 11 year old boy just starting secondary school, into a loving husband, a fantastic father and an all round nice guy.
I admire the approach you took in life - your ability to always see the best in people - I think we can all learn from you on this.
So many wonderful memories to look back on and laugh at, and shed the odd tear or two.
You have taught me a lot over the years -  and I will be forever grateful to you.
Thanks for your true friendship
Rest in peace mate. xx
Love Sludge"

This tribute was added by Paul & Linda on 31st October 2016

"'James was a quiet man. He didn't often stand out amongst the more vocal members of our family (myself included!). I liked to have a one-to-one catch up chat with James whenever I could, always enjoying these conversations because he didn't talk for the sake of talking; what he said always had meaning. I always admired and respected him and it turns out everyone felt the same. I wish now that I had told him so.
Everyone had these little moments with James. Everyone had their own, personal one-to-one relationship with him. That's the kind of person he was. He took time to take an interest in you and your life. He was always genuinely happy to help if he could. He truly was the very best of men and left a tremendous impression on all who knew him. The world needs more people like James. A true gentleman.
Love and miss you always James. God bless.
Linda Gowen xxx

I've never been one to put words down on paper or type as I am now. It's times like this I wish I was, but what do you write about someone like James Merritt? No words can really do justice to what a truly genuinely nice guy he was. One of life's very best. There was never any hidden agenda with James. When involved in a conversation he was always interested in what you had to say and even when you said something potentially bad, he never judged.
I've enjoyed many enjoyable times with James, crabbing in Dartmouth, trying to play golf with the Wham boys, even down to enjoying a nice hot curry on our camping trips. Unfortunately I'll always wish I'd spent more time with James. James Merritt will always be in my thoughts and will always inspire me to be a better man. More like the one we all love, respect and look up to.
Love and miss you Jim Bob
Paul Gowen"

This tribute was added by Mark Minnis on 31st October 2016

"I first met James at a Wham golf day, he was very engaging,passionate and just happy with life.  How many times do you truly meet someone like that?  It was a privilege to have known you for this short time James."

This tribute was added by A Friend on 30th October 2016

"Hoping the words of this song  will give all of James family some comfort.

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your pain and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through, for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's  the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

So this is the time we must keep on trying
Smile there's no use in crying
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile ..........

I believe that James wants us to be happy, not sad.
Let us all remember him with a smile"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 30th October 2016

"James, my Prince Charming, you will always be the light and love in my life.  You blessed me with two beautiful children and you will live on in them.  We will all make you proud and will cherish the love you gave us.

Until we meet again, goodnight my prince.

I love you xxxx"

This tribute was added by John Gowen (jnr) on 30th October 2016

"James was, and probably always will be the nicest person I've ever met. I feel both lucky and honoured to have known him and that he became part of our family. He was like a brother to me, and always had time for all of us, no matter what it was. In fact, James always had time for everybody and took a genuine interest in everyone he met. That is an incredible quality, and he should be an inspiration to us all. James touched many peoples lives, and will be missed enormously, we will never forget him. The World is a worse place now he's gone. RIP brother, love you always xxxxx"

This tribute was added by Glen Gowen on 30th October 2016

"James was my friend, my brother (in-law) and my mentor.
I'm not sure that words can do justice to how I feel, so i've posted lots photo's of the many wonderful days we shared.

You're the best man I ever met.  

God Bless you Jim Bob - Love from Glenno xx"

This tribute was added by Kim Merritt on 30th October 2016

"Where Do They Go To ?

Where do they go to, those people who leave?
Are they around us in the cool evening breeze
Do they still hear us and watch us each day,
I would like to think of James in that way

Where will James go to now he's not here?
I think he'll stay with us, calming our fear,
loving us always, holding our hands.
Walking beside us, on the grass, or on sand

Where did James go to? Well it's my belief,
That he watches and helps us to cope with our grief
He comforts us and stays with us each of our days
Guiding us always through life's mortal ways"

This tribute was added by John Gowen snr. on 29th October 2016

"My catchphrase "Keep Smiling" sounds hollow to me now,
But I'll find the strength to keep saying it somehow.
I'll say it out loud, without pause, or regret,
In honour of James Merritt - "the nicest person that i ever met"

In the chapel where he lay I promised James that I would help take care of his wife & children. I know that I could never even try to fill his boots. But I will try to tread in his footprints, and help Kim to guide Oliver & Evie along the path James had taken.

Some days will be tough, but I vow that I will never waiver from that promise.

Rest In Peace JB - Love from Number 2  xxx"

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