Posted: December 13th, 2022
FORMER Daily Mirror telephoto expert JOHN YEATES died on September 15  aged 92. He’s pictured, seated, at the Mirror in an undated photo; we have been unable to identify the others in the group. His family sent these words:
John Edmund Yeates 1929-2022: John was born in Orpington, Kent in 1929, and attended the local school there. He was of an age which meant he was called up for national service, which he did from 1950-52. He served in Dorset with the Royal Signals, the British Army’s communications experts, the regiment providing battle-winning expertise anywhere the British armed forces required.
On returning to civvy street, John worked briefly at the Daily Express but eventually moved to the Daily Mirror as a telephoto operator. This is where he put to good use what he had learned in the Signals. He was probably the first person the use the new form of sending photographs back to Fleet Street long before faxes etc.
His first major experience was sending back images from the terrible earthquake in Agadir (Morocco) in 1960 when more than 17,000 people were killed and thousands left homeless. He also operated during the awful disaster in Aberfan in 1966.
John proposed to his wife-to-be Valerie on Christmas Eve in 1966 and she accepted. They were married at Our Lady Help of Christians, on March 17, 1967.
John was president of his local rugby club, Westcombe Park, from 1988 until 1993, some five years, followed by becoming chairman of the club from 1994 until 2002 – a remarkable innings.