Nephew of ‘Boycie’ John Challis cremated in Germany; family unsure of cause of death

Gemma Thomas
Gemma Thomas
5 Min Read

Death of actor John Challis’ Nephew Unknown

Carol Challis disclosed that, after his death, someone had taken her nephew Simon’s wristwatch. Additionally, they cremated the nephew of the famous “Only Fools and Horses” actor John Challis in Germany. His ashes were transported back to the UK. Today, the family shared their ongoing uncertainty about the cause of death, six weeks after the tragic event.

John Challis' nephew Simon
A recent picture of John Challis’ nephew Simon holding a baby before he passed away.

Simon worked as an on-site geologist for an oil drilling company in Rehden, Germany, according to his father, John Palmer. The 36-year-old had stayed there for about a month and intended to remain for another three weeks before heading home. However, on July 7, alarm bells rang when he didn’t report for work. As a result, his employers, worried, contacted the police, who discovered his body in his hotel room.

Carol Challis updates on Twitter

Carol Challis, window of John Challis announced on X that, following Simon’s passing, his wristwatch had gone missing. She said, “Simon’s personal belongings were returned to us today from Germany. Sadly his wristwatch was missing. Disappointing that someone should feel the need to help themselves” Additionally, she shared a touching photo of her late spouse and Simon. It was captioned, “God bless these two, my much-loved husband and his friend, my nephew Si.”

John’s wife Carol shared on Twitter that someone had stolen Simon’s watch after he had passed away.

In the turmoil, Mr. Palmer voiced the family’s frustration and pain, emphasising that they remained in the dark about the cause of Simon’s death, lacking both the police report and the postmortem results. To add to their distress, the death certificate provided failed to specify the cause of death. Furthermore, Simon’s cremation took place in Germany, and the UK became the final resting place for his ashes.

John and Carol Challis enjoyed a long and happy marriage.

Missing item from Simon’s personal belongings

At the family residence in the quaint Dorset village of Cheselbourne, where Simon also resided, Mr. Palmer shared a significant detail. Last Sunday, when the family received Simon’s belongings, they noticed the absence of his Garmin Marq Adventurer watch, valued at approximately £1,600. Mr. Palmer conveyed, “We got his stuff back on Sunday and noticed the watch wasn’t there, but we don’t know if it was stolen, we don’t know if he was wearing it at the time.” Despite this setback, he acknowledged the support, stating, “The insurance company that dealt with the repatriation have been fantastic, so has the company he was working for.”

Carol Challis posted a picture on Twitter of herself and nephew, referring to his death as ‘A bloody waste.’

The family are seeking answers around Simon’s Death

However, the family’s quest for answers remains ongoing. Mr. Palmer reflected, “The police attended, I think they found him, but we don’t know much more than that. A post mortem was done but we haven’t been told any cause of death or sent any police report. The death certificate we got didn’t stipulate a cause of death, it is all really bizarre.” To memorialise his son, he added, “He was a very low key guy, he didn’t want a fuss made. He was just a perfectly normal popular guy.

John Challis played Boycie in the much loved series ‘Only Fools and Horses’

Lastly, while Carol announced Simon’s tragic passing last month. She fondly remembered her nephew, reminiscing about his love for skateboarding and surfing, especially in Cornwall. In her heartfelt message on X, she wrote, “Rest easy Simon and may you forever ride the best waves down in Falmouth.”

Simon was the child of Carol’s brother, Johnny. Tragically, his passing follows two years after the death of his uncle, John who died of cancer in 2021. John was famed for his role as Boycie in the iconic “Only Fools And Horses,” acting alongside Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst.

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