06 February 2008

George Pierce's obituary

GEORGE PIERCE [1923-1974] died on 8th August 1993. The following tribute was paid by Peter May on Wednesday 18th August at George’s funeral in the St Paul’s Church, Weeke, Winchester. “It is a great honour for me to be asked to pay this tribute to such a remarkably talented man as George. All of us here feel a profound sense of loss at his passing; none more so than Ruth and Jane and their families and Alan, his brother. So also must Tim be feeling at the far side of the world in New Zealand. George’s death leads us all to reflect on the qualities which he so eminently exhibited as father, grandfather, friend and colleague. As Ruth and Jane have remarked, he was a man who lived his fellow men, just s he loved a good chat, a pipe and a pint. His good humour and generosity of spirit were always apparent, as was his sense of duty. George Pierce was born in 1908, when his father was headmaster of Owslebury Church of England School. From there he went to High Wycombe to live with his grandparents and was for a time at the Royal Grammar School there. But in 1923 he came back to Owslebury and entered his true and lasting inheritance when he came to Peter Symonds’ School. He went on to King Alfred’s College [or Winchester training College as it was then called] in 1928 and emerged with distinctions, fully fledged as a schoolmaster in 1930. By 1933 he was back on the school staff where he used his learning and his great abilities as a games player in the encouragement of countless generations of Symondians. He remained there for the rest of his working life until his retirement in 1974, except for that memorable period during World war Two when he served as physical fitness officer at RAF Scampton to 617 Squadron, the ‘Dambusters’. Many were the tales George could tell of those days.                                                                                                                          page 2>> 

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