Flying Officer Thomas Dowell Trouncer

The Times 22nd October 1940

News of the death on active service of Tom Trouncer will have come as a grievous shock to the many friends he made at Winchester, at University College, Oxford, and in his profession as a solicitor. It was impossible to meet Tom without liking him; it was impossible to gain his friendship without its becoming an enduring bond. It is difficult to define, although easy to recall, those qualities by which he stood out from his fellows; but perhaps it was his essential kindliness which illuminated his whole attitude to life and showed itself most memorably in that slow smile with which he greeted his old friends after a long absence. Never was man more free from malice. Judging other men by his own standards, he put his best construction upon their words and actions, and in his company one grew more conscious of the fundamental decency and sanity of the world. Under a modesty which as one grew to know him better one learnt was unjustified he hid a native shrewdness and a quiet sense of humour which made him ever the most enjoyable of companions and would have led him to success in his chosen profession. His enthusiasms, which ranged over a wide and unexpected field, gave an infectious gaiety to his conversation. One of the earliest of these was for flying, and while at “Univ.,” where he maintained the family tradition as an oar, and as a freshman rowed head of the river in Torpids, he became one of the first members of the Oxford University Air Squadron. On coming down from Oxford he continued in the R.A.F. Special Reserve for several years, but the increasing ties of his family and his profession ultimately prevented him from continuing to fly. After the outbreak of war Tom rejoined the R.A.F. on flying service and wore again the “wings” which are the modern badge of chivalry. There was none who could have worn them with greater fitness. The deepest sympathy must be reserved for his widow and infant daughter, but all who knew him will feel that with his passing they have lost the most loyal and steadfast of friends.