Great Bri­tish ec­centrics

Lt Al­fred D. Win­tle (1897–1966)

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

IN­JURED dur­ing the First World War, Win­tle found him­self stuck in hos­pi­tal with one eye miss­ing. Pin­ing to get back to the front­line, he dis­guised him­self in a nurse’s uni­form, but fooled no one. The war ended and Win­tle, who was awarded an MC, wrote in his diary: ‘Great War peace signed at last.’ The next en­try read: ‘I de­clare pri­vate war on Ger­many.’ At the start of the Sec­ond World War, he com­man­deered an English air­craft at gun­point, in­tend­ing to fly to France. He was caught and sent to the Tower of Lon­don—sign­ing his own ar­rest war­rant when the first was lost— where he spent his in­tern­ment in com­fort, be­ing served a daily whisky. Even­tu­ally, he was sent to France, but was ar­rested as a spy. Be­fore es­cap­ing, Win­tle was such a nui­sance to his Vichy French guards that the com­man­der and his 280 men de­fected and joined the Ré­sis­tance. Sid­ney His­cox

Illustrations by Emma Mccall

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