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David Mure
Late Irish Guards


David Mure was born in 27th December 1916, the only son of James George Dawson Mure and Muriel Decima Hone, CVO, Lady-in-Waiting to HRH Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone. He was educated at Lancing, Hertford College Oxford, and the Royal Agricultural College. His first job was as assistant land agent at the Petworth Estate.

In April 1939, he joined the Queen’s Royal Regiment as a private in the Territorial Army. He was commissioned in June 1939 in 1/5 Queen’s Royal Regiment. Early in the following year, he spent three months as Acting Intelligence Officer at HQ 231 Infantry Brigade, prior to deploying with his battalion to France in April 1940.

David Mure had no doubt about joining up 1939, as storm clouds gathered across Europe. On a visit to Munich in 1937, he saw the Hitler Youth strutting about uniforms and boots; he must have had a sense of what was to come. He was in a reserved occupation, and he could have avoided military service, but his memories of that visit to Germany, and his sense of duty to his country, persuaded him to join up.

He went to France and Belgium as part of the British Expeditionary Force in May 1940, as a platoon commander aged 24, just as the German invasion of France and the Low Countries began. He rarely spoke about his experience, although some of his recollections of that period were written down at the time, a record that testifies to the confusion and maelstrom of the period leading up to Dunkirk. There can be no doubt that he was often in the ‘thick of it’, engaging with the enemy and often being just a few hours and sometimes even minutes behind the death and destruction which characterised the retreat to Dunkirk.

He arrived at the beach at Dunkirk with other soldiers who had lost touch with their regiments, recalling the ‘thousands and thousands lined up waiting’ for the chance to be evacuated. He was fortunate to get his own men onto The Mole and a heavily overladen fishing boat which later went aground, fortunately to be towed-off by a tug. Arriving in Dover the following morning, on a ‘brilliantly clear day’, he soon found himself on a train where the soldiers were ‘showered with cakes, buns and tea’. It must have been an extraordinary contrast to the dangers and uncertainties that he had been experiencing in France.

Back home in England, David Mure was given home defence roles and transferred the following year to the Irish Guards where he soon became the Assistant Adjutant.

He was demobbed in 1946, becoming a farmer with the Pym family at Barnfield, later owning his own farm at Pevington, with pigs, sheep, and fruit. He won a national award for outstanding pig performance, including for ‘the most number of pigs per sow per year’. He helped the late Robin Leigh Pemberton (Lord Kingsdown), formerly Grenadier Guards, with his estate at Torry Hill in the 1950s; they remained close friends, and David recalled this period as being the happiest of times.

He served as a Justice of the Peace in Ashford for over 30 years and as a church warden. He had a special affinity with dogs; they all loved him. He enjoyed Cornwall and boating and used to ski on a ski bike!

In 1960, David married Bridget Wickham, a widow 16 years his junior (to whom he had previously been engaged), who had with three children aged 7, 6 and 4; he brought them up as his own. Bridget died in 2016, and he is survived by his three step-children and four step-grandchildren.

The secret to his longevity was perhaps that he was always thinking about and making plans for the future, and this included planting trees and daily walks with his dogs.

David Mure was a kind, gentle and caring man, always interested in others, whoever they were, and ready to give advice when needed. He was a friend to many and a true gentleman. He died on 1st July 2020, aged 103.

Quis Separabit

With thanks to Andrew Wickham

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