Charles Edward Chipping
Backstory: An Englishman of mediocre talents (initially, anyway) born in 1858, he would go on to achieve greatness by adhering to that Mencken maxim: ‘Those who can–do. Those who can’t–teach.’ And for 43 long years, that’s what dear old Mr. Chipping did at the Brookfield Grammar School in the Fenlands. He was a bit of a bumbler until he married the love of his life, Katherine (nee Bridges) Chipping who, along with the couple’s child, died in childbirth. Thereafter, Mr. ‘Chips’ as he was known, remained an unrepentant bachelor, honoring the memory of his beloved wife who had been taken from him far too soon. Yes, some of us UBs are born not to repent, while others have their impenitence thrust upon them. During his long tenure as an educator, he touched the lives of many, many young men, several of whom went off to lay down their lives for God, King, and England, a sacrifice that never sat entirely well with the ol’ boy.
What we learn: Not all of us unrepentant bachelors are bitter, misanthropic members of the ‘He-Man Woman Haters Club,’ no. We are, but that’s beside the point. The Chipper chose the single life because, like the Black Vulture… <cough cough> … sorry, like the Albatross… <uh-hmmm>… again, sorry. Like the majestic Bald Eagle, Charlie mated for life! And though he had no progeny of his own, he often would reference the boys under his tutelage as though they’d been his children.