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Arthur Winter: 'A Victorian gentleman'
4:00pm Thursday 26th January 2012 in Local Obituaries
Former Bicester mayor and “old fashioned gentleman” Arthur Winter has died, aged 82.
Mr Winter was a town councillor from 1979 to 1991, served as mayor during 1983 and 1984, and was also council leader.
Born in South London, at 18 Mr Winter joined the Army. As he had a keen interest in flying, he signed up as a volunteer for the Glider Pilot Regiment.
But the day he completed his training in 1947, he decided to take one more flight, which changed the course of his life.
A tank broke free of the Hamilcar glider as he was coming into land and the glider crashed into trees, seriously injuring Mr Winter’s hip.
He had a series of operations, but the damage was such that one leg was four inches shorter than the other and he had to wear a built-up shoe.
The accident meant his dreams of becoming a helicopter pilot ended. Instead, he spent the remainder of his 22-year Army career in the Royal Ordnance Corps.
He was posted to Germany in 1952 for about three years and then Singapore, where he met his future wife Jean Mounsor, who died in 1999.
The couple met when they were preparing for an Army amateur dramatics production. They married in 1957 and had a daughter, Penny, two years later.
Afterwards the family returned to the UK and settled in Chilwell, near Nottingham, until Mr Winter retired from the Army.
In 1970, he got a job in the civil service, at Bicester Garrison, as an executive officer with the automatic data processing department, where he worked as a computer programmer until his retirement in 1989.
During that time, the lifelong Conservative was elected to Bicester Town Council, serving as council leader, and also as mayor during 1983 and 1984.
He had a lifelong passion for theatre, music and reading and was often involved in amateur productions at Graven Hill Theatre, often roping in his daughter to help paint scenery.
Mr Winter, right, was a member of retired professional and businessmen’s lunch club Probus, and a trustee of charity Feoffee.
He was also a former governor of Brookside and Cooper Schools, and a supporter of the 1st Bicester Girl Guides.
His daughter, now Penny Cummins, said: “I always like to compare my dad to a Victorian gentleman, and maintain that he was born 100 years too late.
“He was always well turned out and smart. Dad loved theatre, he loved music and he loved reading – he would read anything.
“He was kind and straightforward and that’s something I have heard so much lately.”
Mr Winter’s funeral was held yesterday.