Genealogical Notes #345: Father Of The Man


Brian Milhouse Wadsworth Thrupiece ["Brian Senior"] in 1942 when a soldier in the East Dorset Fusiliers.  The affectionate message is not typical of the man who came to be known as "The Blank of Batcombe".  More typical was his inability to get his wife's name right.
Brian Milhouse Wadsworth Thrupiece ["Brian Senior"] in 1942 when a soldier in the East Dorset Fusiliers. The affectionate message is not typical of the man who came to be known as "The Blank of Batcombe". More typical was his inability to get his wife's name right.

Not to be confused with his illustrious and much-vaunted son - Professor Brian Pemberton Chorleywood Thrupiece - plain Brian Milhouse Wadsworth Thrupiece ["Brian Senior"] is perhaps the least known and most enigmatic figure in the entire Thrupiece household. As Mrs Amanda J Threadbone says in her most recent biography of the Culinary Bio-ethicist, Professor Thrupiece As I Knew Him [Mrs Amanda J Threadbone's People as I Knew Them, Series 1 No 1, The Threadbone Press [2016]], "Brian Senior or - to all except his wife - Mr Thrupiece Senior is in many ways the least well-known and most enigmatic figure in the entire Thrupiece household: almost a lost or at least a frequently mislaid, man".


We know a good deal, of course, about the Professor's mother Prunella "Prunie" Thrupiece née Chorleywood and his relationship with her: that mother and son were extremely close, for example, ["I am slowly warming to mother - she's not altogether as irritating as she seems"]; that she was highly influential in moulding his early interests ["Though she's more than a tad uninterested in me and anything I might have to say, she's a dab hand with an Ekco Steel and bakelite Pink Hand Held Egg Beater which looks fun - I might take it up sometime and see if it makes my chest shake too"] and that she was endlessly encouraging in his efforts to self-educate ["Mother caught me amusing myself in bed again last night and said I would go blind if I continued. I persuaded her that torchlight was safe and so she has reluctantly permitted me to read a chapter a night"]. But of the father, only the sketchiest details have emerged: "Took a lunch box down to the allotment where Dad - I think his name is Brian too - was admiring his marrowfats".


So what exactly do we know about the man once described as "The Father of Brian"? The bare facts appear to be:


Born: April 14 or 15 1917, Shitterton, Dorset to Albert Thrupiece and Doris (née Pemberton) Thrupiece

Baptised: Brian Milhouse Wadsworth Thrupiece April 25th, Parish Church of Our Lady of the Ingrowing Toenails, Shitterton

Educated: Shitterton C of E Primary School [1922-1928], Shitterton Grammar School [1928-1933]

Married: Prunella Chorleywood 12 October 1939, Batcombe Parish Church

Issue: Brian Pemberton Chorleywood ("The Professor") 1st April 1940

War Service: East Dorset Fusiliers 1940-44, seeing action in North Africa [1942] and later on the Buckhorn Weston Front [1944] [see Erich Monty Donne [1956] "All Quiet on the Buckhorn Weston Front" [Threadbone Press]

Occupation: Solicitor's Clerk at Ravage, Pester and Grudge [Broadmayne]

Died: 8 April 1968, Batcombe [from "Chronic Indifference with complications arising from ennui, anomie and disappointment"].

Hobbies: Small Scale Horticulture (Summer), Tatting (Winter)

Buried: Parish Church of Our Lady of The Weeping Mammaries, Seaborough




Ekco Steel and Bakelite Pink Hand Held Egg Beater of the type wielded by Mrs Thrupiece in her Batcombe kitchen. According to the Professor, "another magical wand of delight that gave me so much pleasure".
Ekco Steel and Bakelite Pink Hand Held Egg Beater of the type wielded by Mrs Thrupiece in her Batcombe kitchen. According to the Professor, "another magical wand of delight that gave me so much pleasure".

Such skeletal details give little impression of the beating heart of the man and, alas, little can be added save the snippets of information contained in occasional references to be found in recollections thinly scattered throughout the later Thrupiece Diaries. These include: "Couldn't find Dad that morning", "Dad's tea's had gone cold", "Mum was trying to find dad - but not that hard", "Aunt Sissy was there, Dad wasn't", "Found a huge amount of vintage fluff on Dad's side of the bed".


Genealogy expert Jeannie A'Loji believes, however, that even these small snippets can, appropriately mined and interpreted, reveal much about the family dynamic and everyday home life experienced by the young Professor. Further, she contends, they contain evidence of seeds that would grow to full maturity as the adult Professor's socio-psycho-sexual personality developed. "It is clear that the presence [and occasional extended absence] of a battle-fatigued gamma male father figure, the suffocating presence of an over-domesticated mother, the absence of siblings and the presence of huge quantities of raw fluff were instrumental in the making of "The Professor" as we know him to have been. Only in an environment like this - where indifference and neglect coupled with unsupervised freedom on the one-hand and the availability of modern culinary technology, fresh locally-sourced and environmentally sound produce and handy supplies of methane gas on the other - could that unique combination of independence, unguided sexual exploration, technological innovation, inter-personal sensitivity and culinary bio-ethical interest flourish. I would say that on the basis of the evidence we have before us Professor Thrupiece's character was made up of 20% nature and 70% nurture, the other 10% was "just Brian being Brian"."

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