In memory of John Albert De-Machen

Feb 20 | 2024

John Albert De-Machen died late last year. He had been in the moving industry for over 40 years and inspired his sons, Matthew and James, to start their own successful businesses.

John Albert DeMachen funeralBefore entering the moving industry, John was a professional bodyguard, working for some of the wealthiest people in London.  At one point he became the personal bodyguard of businessman and arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.

But John had always wanted to have his own business.  In the late 1970s he bought a Sherpa van followed by another Transit van a few years later.  In the early days he advertised ‘a strong man and van’ to move any single item locally for £10.  This service soon grew into providing full-scale removals with him driving one van and his wife the other. He was very proud of winning the contract to move the National Youth Ballet and even pained one of his vans with images of dancers.

James and Matthew would work on the vans in the school holidays and soon got the moving bug.  As soon as they turned 17 they bought their own vans and started their own businesses: James formed James Removals in the early 1990s with Matthew starting Matthew James Removals a little later.  John, meanwhile, stayed in the background telling the boys what to do.  But they had much bigger ideas John became very proud of their success: the two companies now operate over 100 vehicles between them.

Photo: John’s last journey, accompanied by his children, left to right, eldest to youngest - Rachel, James, Charlotte and Matthew.