Penrose, Aylmer

Aylmer Penrose – known as ‘Jeremy’ – was the youngest son of Brigadier John Penrose MC (C1900-1905), of ‘Sutton Croft’, Bickley, Kent, and later of ‘Chelveshatyes’, Clyst Hydon, Cullompton, Devon. His mother, Muriel Charlotte Penrose, was the daughter of Hans Hendrick-Aylmer, of Kerdiffstown, County Kildare. He was the brother of Major-General John Hubert Penrose OBE, MC (C1930-1934), and of Guy Trevenen Penrose (C1933-1938), who was killed in North Africa in 1942 (see individual entry).

Jeremy played cricket and football and ran and swam for his House, and distinguished himself as a gymnast.  He also drew and painted with skill, and it was said, would decorate anything from a menu to surf-board.

On leaving Winchester he studied architecture at the Edinburgh School of Art until May 1941, when he joined a signals unit of the Royal Artillery.  On receiving his commission, he trained in 33 Field Regiment (Infantry) Division and was with them when they landed on Sword Beach on D-Day.

They were involved in heavy fighting in Normandy and in the bombardment fired before Operation Goodwood on 18th July.   At the beginning of September they left for Belgium and Holland, acting as right-flank protection for Operation Market-Garden, the attempt to smash a way across the Rhine by way of Einthoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem. The Allied advance was outrunning its supplies, and for a while the Division had to eat German rations: “The honey biscuits and frozen vegetables were approved, but the meat was not popular.”   After the failure of Market-Garden, in October 3rd Division was involved in the successful capture of the village of Overloon, a costly and bloody battle and the only major tank battle fought on Dutch soil.

For the next four months, 3rd Division held the bank of the River Maas from Gujk to Vierlingsbeek.

Penrose had served with 33 Field Regiment all the way to Holland, but his luck now ran out. On October 28th 1944, German counter-battery fire struck 33 Field, over a hundred shells raining down on the 25-pounder gun positions. Penrose was one of their ten casualties, killed by a direct hit on his command post, at the age of twenty-two. He lies in grave I.E.1 of Overloon War Cemetery.


War: World War 2

  • Surname: Penrose
  • Forenames or initials: Aylmer
  • House: C
  • Years in School: 1935-1939
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Regiment: 33 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
  • Date of Birth: 19th December 1921
  • Date of Death: 28th October 1944
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner B1
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Overloon War Cemetery: Grave I.E.1