Lucas I.T. - The OldWinburnians

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I. T. Lucas

Full Names

Rank /Unit  

Years at Q.E.G.S.

Ivan  Theodore  Lucas

223 Squadron Royal Air Force



Date  / Place of Birth

Date  / Place of Death

Age at Death


Saturday 27th June 1942
Western  Desert


"I.T" was the son of L.T.R and Mrs. Muriel Lucas of 18 Avenue Rd  Wimborne.
At school he was in Richmond House and for some reason, was always referred to as "'I'.'T' Lucas." He was frequently in trouble with the Police for riding his bicycle around town without lights.
"I.T." was an outstanding all-round sportsman. In the 1928 Athletic Sports on the 24th March, he won, the High Jump, the Long Jump, 440 yds, 220 yds and 100 yds, also the Hurdles and Throwing the Cricket Ball (76.6 yards). He was awarded the Toppin Cup and the Luff Cup, both of which he later held several times. After the Commemoration on the 1st of August 1928, he received a prize for Drawing. Later, he also captained the Hockey Xl, the Cricket Xl and was the Vice-captain of the Soccer Xl. During his school career, he broke two School records - hurdles (18 secs)and high jump at 5ft. 4.5 ins (1.59 m). He was in the 1929 Hockey team and the Cricket team, when he scored 194 runs, bowled 161 overs and took 42 wickets.
At the Prize Giving in the Spring of 1929 he received a prize for Shooting, a Cricket Award for his Bowling and the Walters Cup for his All-round Athletic Ability.
On the School Sports Day of 1930, the Guest of Honour, Captain Hambro, of Merley House, wished "I. T.", "....every luck in the athletic world... as it was his last appearance on the School sports ground as a pupil".
Ivan joined the O.W. Committee and organised the 1932/33 New Year dance. He played Rugby for the Old Boys, despite, by that time, being at the Dennis Motor Works at Guildford. Even there, he was said to be, '... in great demand for various sports in the vicinity'.
During the Summer Reunion of 1933, Ivan, was involved in Shooting, Swimming and Cricket matches against the School. Batting for the Old Boys, I.T. '... was bowled by Wilson after scoring 9 runs.' He also played for "W.G.S Wanderers C. C." which was formed to provide cricket during the summer holidays for boys and Old Boys of the School.
It is understood that Ivan was an "Anglo-Indian", who was born in Egypt. He had hoped to join the 'Indian Police Force' when he left school. He drifted into teaching and taught for a while in Scotland, possibly in Inverness.
Later he worked in the Midlands for Morris Motors but in what capacity is not known. In the mid-1930s he went to Rhodesia and in the Spring of 1941, he joined the South African Air Force, later transferring to the R.A.F.
In a letter to the School in the Spring of 1936 he wrote that he, " ...had been showing his athletic prowess in Rhodesia, winning both high and long jump in Salisbury." He also, "... got into the finals of the hurdles but was defeated by a spike coming through his shoe." In another letter he regretted the fact that he was late in sending his O.W. sub. and went on to comment that,"... he was overjoyed to pull on his spikes again and that it quite took him back to old times."
It is uncertain exactly what he was doing since he mentions that, "... besides reaping mealies he is also making bricks."
After qualifying as an Air Gunner he was posted to 223 Squadron which was equipped with Baltimores Mk.1 & Mk2. and was stationed at Baheira. Part of the unit flew from 'Landing Ground 99' which was in a cluster of desert airfields approximately 20 miles South of Alexandria.
A great friend of I.T. in his squadron wrote,"... Ivan was shot down by three fighters and died at his post, as he would have desired. His guns were blazing right until his aircraft hit the ground. He was a very brave man and very popular with everyone."
Writing in the School Magazine in the Autumn of 1942, Mr. T.W.Tapping - Senior History Master, and also i/c the Cricket Xl, wrote, "War, the destroyer, has claimed the life of Ivan Lucas. To those of us who knew him well, the news of his passing brings back memories of a vivid personality and of achievements which, in their own way were remarkable. Lucas would have been the last to claim that his class room work attained any lofty heights. But in all departments of the athletic life of the school he was an enthusiast, an untiring worker, and no mean performer.
It was, however, in athletics that he excelled. A good runner, an excellent hurdler and long jumper, he stood in a class by himself among Dorset Secondary Schoolboys as a High Jumper. For some time in the Dorset Inter School Sports there was a question as to who would be second and third; the first place was automatically filled by Lucas.
He discovered his gift quite young, and he cultivated it assiduously. Long after he had proved himself easily the best schoolboy high jumper in Dorset, he continued to improve his high standard by practice all the year round, in the privacy of his garden at home. High jumping may not be the most useful of accomplishments, but we have the highest authority for assuring ourselves that it is our duty to cultivate what talents we have. "
Mr. T.W.Tapping concluded his "Appreciation" as he titled the short article, " .... I, at any rate, shall always have, as one of my inspirations, the memory of that tall, graceful figure, clearing phenomenal heights."
"I.T." is buried in the El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.

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