Brian Anthony Bunker was born in Wandsworth, London, England, on 5 April 1936, the only child of Albert R. G. Bunker and Harriett Brooks. He passed away 21 June 2015. From 1960 to 1995, Brian taught history and English at Carshalton Boys School, Surrey, England.
For many years, Brian served as the British Historian of the Bunker Family Association genealogical research team. BFA Vice President and USA Family Historian Bette Bunker Richard commented, “He left a valuable legacy to the Bunker Family Association and it will be years before we finish inputting all the data he provided.” Bette’s comments appear in the August 2015 edition of the Bunker Banner:
Brian’s father was a butcher and when asked about military service of his father and grandfather, Brian A. Bunker replied, “Father was double ruptured so was excused service in W.W.I, joined the Home Guard in the second. George eldest child of Harriet Brandon, having lost a few years, went into WW I on 29 7 1915 but was discharged as ‘unlikely to make an efficient soldier’ on the 20 8 1915. I expect some of the rest did but as you know, Uncle Adolph destroyed most records during WW II. Father told me that when in a cinema in 1914-18, the film would be stopped for the military to check males and when he showed his excused card the sergeant major would often throw it on the floor and spit on it. I myself was called up for national service and spent three weeks waiting for a medical discharge.”
As to his memories of growing up in London during World War II, Brian said, “I lived in Kingston on Thames, Surrey, England all through the war except when evacuated to Devon in 1940/41 and 1944. Of course we knew that people were being killed for where there was a house yesterday there was the next day a pile of rubble. Many years later I obtained the number of civilians killed in
Kingston, during the war and it turned out to be almost 100 and Kingston was not a badly bombed area! One of those killed was a cousin of mine in the Hawker factory which made Hurricane fighters. His mother buried an empty coffin for not a single identifiable bit of him was ever found, it was reckoned the bomb fell directly on top of him and simply blew him to pieces. We children loved the war, it was so exciting to see German bombers coming down in a great plume of flame and smoke, we didn’t think of our lads being killed. The British losses were always officially halved while the German ones were doubled. We boys, all were convinced that Uncle Adolph would never get us and though there were plenty of empty desks in my classroom, it was due to evacuation not to anybody being killed, mind you the school lost all of its roof in 1944, blown off like a knife going through the top of a cake.”
Brian adamantly opposed all wars and sending mere boys off to be slaughtered or returned forever scarred by their experience. He frequently expressed his views on this matter. He cherished the boys he had taught for so many years but he had delightful comments about some of their antics. Brian had a droll sense of humor and it was a delight to work with him. His comments about British politicians spiced up many conversations and he will be so missed by all of us. Brian never married and left no children.