Page 177 - Wykehamist-War-Service-Record-and-Roll-of-Honour-1939-1945

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his commission in the R.A. in December 1939; fought through the Dunkirk campaign; was
" distinguished" at the School of Signals Course; sailed for Africa with the 1st Army and was
Killed in Action on November 23, 1942. He took into the Army the same enthusiasm and found
the same gay happiness which marked his life at Winchester. The two brothers will be remembered
by the
Guy and Jeremy-a
generous gift to Sailing Club.
LIEUTENANT JOHN HENRY PERSSE
(H,
1935-40), born May 4, 1922, son of H. S. Persse,
of Chattis Hill, Stockbridge, came from Twyford to Mr. Robinson's House in 1935. He was a
conscientious plodder with no great intellectual or athletic gifts; but his high spirits and puckish
sense of humour (shewn particularly by a remarkable talent for mimicry) could not fail to enliven
any society. Underlying these were a thoughtful kindliness and serious purpose which made
him a real influence; and he became both House and School prefect. He had a passionate interest
in horses and, had he lived, would have followed in his father's footsteps as a trainer.
In July 1941 he enlisted in The Rifle Brigade, and after securing his commission went out in
April 1943 to Egypt, where he played a leading part in the organisation of impromptu gymkhanas.
In 1944 he crossed to Italy, and on June 20 was killed near Perugia while going out under fire
to the help of a wounded private.
THE HON. A. F. PHILLIMORE
(E,
1920-25) came to Morshead's, then under Mr. Irving,
in 1920 from Sandroyd. He was the eldest of four brothers in the House, sons of the present
Lord Phillimore, who was there 1893-98. He had the family independence, its strong individuality
and its integrity of character. A rather dreamy junior with a vague air that appeared uncom–
prehending till it was illuminated by a broad smile. He gave and took a full share of the fun
of life. Being sent on an errand to School Shop by a prefect, he forgot its nature when he got there,
and before he was back up at House to find out he had forgotten who had sent him. He showed
exceptional promise as a poacher, and he saw further than most of us into the minds of dogs and
other animals; this may have served him in good stead when he was with the Camel Corps in
British Somaliland. He was a brave but definitely an amateur member of Commoner XV and
of his House Soccer side. His attempt to re-start beagling in the School, like that of his brother
Robert later, met with a disappointing response from the Headmaster. A misleading blankness
of expression up to books led to an under-estimation of his intelligence which he found no dis–
advantage to the enjoyment of School life.
Some of his instructors were surprised when he entered the R.M.C. in 1925 high enough on the
list to win a prize cadetship. He took a commission in the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers. He married
in 1934 and left a son. On May 23, 1940, he went into one of the desperate engagements near
Arras fought to cover the retreat to Dunkirk, and was not seen again.
BERNARD PINNEY
(I,
1916-21), born May 14, 1903, was the eldest son of Major-General
Sir Reginald Pinney,
K.C.B. (B,
1877-81), and inherited from him and the family home at Racedown,
Dorset, the best traditions of soldiering, public service, and sportsmanship. He came to Win–
chester from Copthorne, played
v.
Eton in Claude Ashton's winning XI in 1920, and again (and
in Soccer XI) in 1921.
From the R.M.A. he joined the Gunners and served in Egypt and India (where his sporting activities
were recorded in an appreciative notice in
The Times)
and later did two tours of duty with the
Eastern Arab Corps on the Abyssinian border of the Sudan: these he much enjoyed, though the
second was perhaps professionally a mistake, as it precluded his going to the Staff College. He
was serving at home in the R.H.A. in 1938 and went abroad with the B.E.F. in September 1939.
The
Wykehamist
has already recorded his M.C. when in command of an A.A. Battery at Dunkirk,
his wound in Syria in June 1941, and his last gallant action at Sidi Rezegh the day before his death
on November 22, 1941, in command of his beloved" J "Battery. He would have been well
content that the V.C., for which he was also recommended, went posthumously to the subaltern,
Ward Gunn, with whom he fought their last gun. An officer of the Rifle Brigade wrote: "I
should not have thought it possible to carry on under such heavy fire and remain so calm and
unconcerned as Bernard." Those who played cricket with him for Winchester or Dorset, or rode
with him at home or in India, will remember him as a lover of peace and the most modest and
unselfish of men. He married, in June 1940, Rosemary Segrave, and left one daughter whom
he never saw.
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