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Joseph Brooks Pilling
Sub-Lieutenant [A] R.N.V.R.
Died – 29 July 1943 – age 20
Lee-on-Solent Memorial, H.M.S. Unicorn
Joseph in his last year at Bryanston proved himself a very good hard-playing member of the 1st XV and one who made firm friends. He left to become a fighter-pilot in the Fleet Air Arm and was killed at sea on active service. He had developed great and justifiable confidence in himself and high hopes for the future. In a last letter home he wrote, ‘We are leaving here – how and why I cannot say and for some time you will not hear from me. Don’t worry though ... true happiness is never a stagnant thing and he who expects it to be can have no intensive attack on life ...’
His mother wrote to Mr Coade: ‘He loved his two years at Bryanston, spent in Hardy House and often wrote how thankful he was that he had the privilege of going to Bryanston. Joesph was always proud of having been to the School – looked upon that period as the turning point in his life and whenever he was flying in his plane he had his Bryanston scarf around his neck.’
A fellow pilot who flew with him wrote to his parents: ‘My very last memory was his plane giving a farewell wigglewaggle as he flew eastwards into the sun.’