Peter Dimmick, Science Master c.1958 – 1964

November 2, 2023

Peter Dimmick, Teaching Staff, TS Mercury 1954 – 1964

David Parsons wrote:

Peter was our science master throughout all but my final term at Mercury. I last heard from him in 2019 when he gave an outline of his life.

Early on he served in the RAF, I suspect as one the last National Servicemen.  Whilst there he read that there was a shortage of teachers. On leaving the services he went on to study Science and Geography from whence he applied for a vacancy at Mercury but did not hear back. He then briefly taught in Leytonstone (London E3) where he was “filling in” rather than teaching his core subjects.  Four weeks later Commander Bradby wrote to him offering the position as the science teacher which he happily accepted.  For me and I think others, he made science an interesting subject, predominantly covering physics, which was really useful – particularly to those who went to sea.

One of his other interests was music.  One evening he was playing the organ in the chapel when Cdr Bradby approached him to say that the organist was leaving and would he take this on.  As he didn’t read music at that time, he was told he had the summer to learn!  He remembered the old chapel being burnt down and once told us that, just beforehand whilst in there alone, he heard woman crying but there was no sign of anyone!  When the new chapel was consecrated in January 1962 (my first term) and an organ had been obtained from a disused church in Sussex and rebuilt, on which he excelled.  He was also very popular because he ran the school tuck shop.

Whilst at Mercury he lived on the Isle of Wight and went home by ferry where he befriended most of the masters.  One gave him some out-of-date pyrotechnics and he subsequently launched the parachute rockets from the school, which led to complaints about falling debris by the villagers (probably not to mention from the Coastguard also!).  Latterly he organised school cruises for us boys in our final year on the BI vessel Dunera, ensuring that we all had an opportunity to see the ship at first hand.

Peter went on to marry in the Mercury chapel.  About that time Cdr Hoyle, who held him in very high regard, advised that he felt the days for the school were numbered. As a result, he moved to Farnborough where he took on a new teaching post.  After retirement he became chairman of a handicapped society, a board member of the R J Mitchell Aeronautical Museum in Southampton and continued to play the organ.  He remembered his time at Mercury as being very happy. 

Our condolences go to Peter’s family.