Fletcher, Dennis John Alsen (1901-1942)
Sherborne School, UK, Book of Remembrance for former pupils who died in the Second World War, 1939-1945.
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Credit: Sherborne School Archives, Abbey Road, Sherborne, Dorset, UK, DT9 3AP.
Details: Dennis John Alsen Fletcher (1901-1942), born 7 January 1901, son of Sidney John Bushe Fletcher and of Annie Isabella Fletcher (nee Alsen) of Arundel, Sussex. Married to Mary Gordon Fletcher (nee Devitt), of Widford, Hertfordshire.
Attended Holyrood House preparatory school, Bognor.
Attended Sherborne School (School House) September 1914-July 1920; scholar; 6th form; Prefect; Longmuir English prize, 1917; English Essay prize, 1919.
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge; Relay Races v. Oxford.
WW2, Flying Officer (Pilot Instructor), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR). Killed on active service at Secunderabad, India, on 16 March 1942, aged 41.
Madras War Cemetery, Chennai, India, 5. B. 3. Inscription on his headstone: ‘SO HE PASSED OVER, AND ALL THE TRUMPETS SOUNDED FOR HIM ON THE OTHER SIDE’ www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2172673/fletcher,-den...
Sherborne School: War Memorial Staircase; Book of Remembrance.
Old Shirburnian Annual Report, October 1942:
'Flying Officer Dennis John Alsen Fletcher (School House 1914-1920) was killed in March 1942 in a flying accident in India where he was serving as an Instructor with the RAF; and an enthusiasm for flying which took a schoolboy to Yeovil factory in his holidays in the last war found its culminating devotion in the present one. Charm, gaiety, vitality to the point of impulsiveness were his obvious characteristics, but he had never lacked the courage to carry through to its end what he believed to be right. At Sherborne, Dennis Fletcher was a Scholar, a School Prefect, winner of the Longmuir English Prize and of the School Essay; at Cambridge, where he was at Corpus Christi College, he ran against Oxford in the Relay Races, but his capacity for friendship prevented him doing himself academic justice. On leaving Cambridge he entered the textile industry, working at first in Bradford and becoming ultimately the London agent for Salts of Saltaire. For some years he flew his own aeroplane; and when war came, although he spent the first few months on the staff of the Eastern Regional Commissioner, with whom, the Master of his old College, he had maintained a close friendship, his heart was with the RAF and in April 1940 he was commissioned in the RAFVR as an Instructor. Within a few weeks he was serving in France, returning at the last moment before her capitulation. His love of Sherborne was very real; and of the debts which he owed to the school he would have put foremost his friendship with the Devitt family which culminated in his marriage to Mary Devitt in 1924. She survives him with a son, who is a midshipman in the Royal Navy, and a daughter. Dennis Fletcher's love of activity, which found expression in flying and sailing, was not the whole of him; he was always a lover of books and he came to love increasingly the quiet things of the country - his garden and his part in the life of a Hertfordshire village, where in the church in which he used to read the lessons the people of the village gathered on an April evening to remember him with gratitude and affection; and of their depth of feeling there could be no doubt.'