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Holmes, Oliver Lockington (1923-1944) | by sherborneschoolarchives
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Holmes, Oliver Lockington (1923-1944)

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: Oliver Lockington Holmes (1923-1944), born 17 May 1923, son of Alfred Kenward Holmes and Winifred Mary Lockington Holmes of The Parsonage, Udimore, Sussex.


Siblings: Midshipman Alfred Bernard Holmes lost with HMS Southampton on 11 January 1941,-alfre...


Attended Seafield School, Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex.


Attended Sherborne School (School House) May 1937-July 1941; 6th form (Medical); House Prefect; PT Instructor.


Clare College, Cambridge.


WW2, Lieutenant in the 4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, Royal Armoured Corps. Killed in action at Tilly, France, on 28 August 1944, aged 21.


Commemorated at:

St Desir War Cemetery, Calvados, France, VI. E. 13. Inscription on his headstone: ‘DEVOTED BROTHER OF BERNARD, MIDSHIPMAN, R.N. LOST WITH H.M.S. “SOUTHAMPTON” 11.1.1941, AGE 19’,-olive...


Sherborne School: War Memorial Staircase; Book of Remembrance.


Obituary, 'The Shirburnian', December 1944: 'Oliver Lockington Holmes, son of a A.K. Holmes, The Parsonage, Udimore, Rye, Sussex, came to Sherborne in the Summer Term 1937, and left in July 1940, to take up residence in Clare College, Cambridge. To everyone he was either 'Olly' or the 'Professor.' The last sobriquet dated from the evening when he was found armed with a cheap telescope delivering rather a long-winded lecture on Astronomy from the wall outside the School House to an attentive group of shivering juniors. In his early days the 'Professor' had contemplated a Medical career, later to he changed to farming, but when he last came down to Sherborne in the Summer Term 1944, his inclinations were tending rather towards a permanent Commission in the R.A.C. It was a life he said which suited him far better than he had anticipated. On his embarkation leave he was just the same friendly simple person that we had always known, and it was with a very great sense of shock that we heard of his death in the Battle of Normandy only a few weeks later. But he had not fought for nothing; a letter arrived shortly after from an officer in another Regiment who told how he had been saved from almost certain death by 'Olly' Holmes. This officer was lying wounded on the ground and two Germans approached with the evident intention of finishing him off with the bayonet. In his letter he describes how 'Olly' arrived in his tank just in the nick of time, shot the assailants with a machine gun, improvised, a stretcher for the wounded officer and carried him to safety. He commented in his letter that it was like 'Olly' to be in the right place at the right time and to do the right thing. That is most certainly true, the last part in particular. No one who knew him could have imagined him doing at any time anything but this. He leaves behind him in his old School many happy memories.'

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Taken on August 1, 2013