The late, great Lt. Col. Alfred D. Wintle was opinionated, brave, comical, intelligent, and, most importantly, hugely entertaining. A true “character.” He once attempted to escape a hospital dressed as a female nurse in order to rejoin the war effort, but his monocle gave him away; as a prisoner of war in France during World War II, he went on hunger strike for a fortnight to protest his prison guards’ “slovenly” appearance; years later, post-war, he actually took control of a train when he realised there weren’t enough first-class seats, refusing to leave the driver’s cab until the situation was rectified. In 1958, he made history by winning, without a lawyer, a three year legal battle against a dishonest solicitor that ended in the House of Lords. The stories are endless, and his autobiography is highly recommended.
He wrote the following brief letter to the offices of The Times in 1946, where it has quite rightly been preserved ever since.
Transcript follows. Huge thanks to Nigel Brachi.
(Source: Past. Present. Future. To celebrate Two Hundred Years of Publication; Image: Alfred Wintle in 1945, via LIFE.)
From Lt. Col. A.D. Wintle.
The Royal Dragoons
127 Piccadilly W.1.
To the Editor of The Times.
I have just written you a long letter.
On reading it over, I have thrown it into the waste paper basket.
Hoping this will meet with your approval,
Your obedient Servant
6 Feb ’46