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Sir Peter O'Sullevan

Discussion in 'WWII Era Obituaries (non-military service)' started by GRW, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Stirling, Scotland
    "He was born in Co Kerry in 1918, the son of a Killarney magistrate and an English mother. After his parents separated he was brought up from the age of six by his maternal grandparents in a country house in Surrey.
    At 10, he caused a scare in the locality when going missing after his pony had been turned out of its box, because of visiting horses, and put in a distant field during pouring rain. The boy's absence was reported to the police and a search began. Two hours later a child was found close to the Reigate road, holding an umbrella over a pony.
    Soon after, he placed via a local butcher a sixpence each-way bet on Tipperary Tim in the 1928 Grand National. It won at 100-1. O'Sullevan went on to Charterhouse School and was also sent to a college in Switzerland for health reasons. He suffered prolonged illnesses (pneumonia four times in total, chronic asthma, plus a skin condition). All this blighted his childhood, but he never let illness deter him then or as an adult. Of his dermatological problems, he said his extensive experience among numerous skin specialists had led him to the conclusion that "they are as helpful as a welshing bookmaker". Usually, as a young racegoer, he would avoid the grandstands.
    In 1939, unfit for military service, O'Sullevan bought a car and helped evacuate families from London to the country. He joined the Chelsea Civil Defence Rescue Service, recalling later: "The first body I helped carry from an air-raid shelter that had received a direct hit was a young girl, whose right hand showed that she had one finger left to varnish when the bomb struck."

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