No-one does obituaries like the Telegraph nowadays, and this is a classic of the genre. You can feel the tension in the air as they carefully skirt around any mention of the obvious puns, in deference to the sombre occasion and, no doubt, the exasperated requests of the dead man’s family.
And who needs a cheap shot at the name with such a life to eulogise? Leading African troops against the Japanese, tugging Greek beards, demanding the surrender of Cuban irregulars clad only in diving flippers and mud – his story has it all.
I suppose with a name like his one might feel driven to excel, if only to give people something else to talk about. Lt Col John Trenchard Pine-Coffin OBE succeeded in spades, and we salute him for it. Ave atque vale…
The Pine-Coffin arms, yesterday. “In storms we thrive”. One only hopes that Heaven doesn’t bore him.