Charles Pittar (Lieut. Coldstream Guards)
The tranquillity of the holidays has been broken with the news of the totally unexpected death of Charles Pittar on Sunday night (28th August). Until the end of last term he had been assisting us on the staff with the teaching of classics to the top form.
It was a shock to read of the sad circumstances of his death in today’s edition of ‘The Times’ in an article under the heading “Father’s Distressing Discovery”:
“Going to an annexe at his house in Banbury Road, Oxford, shortly before 8 yesterday morning, Mr CWE Pittar, an Indian Civil servant, found his son, Charles Austin Pittar, dead, a gas tap being turned full on.
The son, who was about 23 and a member of Queen’s College, went to the annexe, which he used as a study, after dinner on Sunday night, and was not seen again until he was found dead by his father. A fine scholar, he was to have gone to India shortly, having passed his Civil Service examination. At Eton, before the war, he did exceptionally well as an athlete, and he won the MC with the Coldstream Guards in the war…”
Charles was still at school when war broke out in 1914, but he joined up when old enough and spent the final two years on active service on the Western Front. In November 1918 he was rewarded for his bravery with the Military Cross:
“For conspicuous gallantry and initiative while on a daylight patrol. He left his lines in broad daylight, accompanied only by his orderly, and scouted right up through the enemy outpost line, a distance of some 700 yards. He showed great daring and enterprise, and the information he brought back was of the utmost importance.”
Charles was a most affectionate and loyal Old Dragon, and was present whenever possible at our Old Boys’ Dinners and other gatherings. We looked forward to a distinguished career for him.
However, albeit nearly three years after the end of that savage conflict, the war has claimed yet another life.