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Peter Nelson Cullen

Jon Moreno

[email protected]

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 13:30

A RETIRED farmer with a passion for sailing and playing golf, Peter Nelson Cullen, has died at St Mary's Hospital, Newport, on December 1, aged 94.

Born in London on November 12, 1923, he grew up in London and Surrey.

Mr Cullen was educated at Winchester College between 1937 and 1942, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied engineering.

His studies were interrupted by the Second World War when he was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1943.

Within a year, he was promoted to captain and he is believed to have been the youngest captain in the British Army during the war. He was stationed in HMS Vectis, Cowes, before D-Day, with his officer's mess located at the Royal London Yacht Club (RLYC).

Mr Cullen landed in Normandy three days after D-Day, as part of a combined unit, and was responsible for directing fire from warships, from advanced positions ashore, during the bombardment of Nazi targets.

Having returned from Normandy, he met his wife to be, Beryl, a young Wren.

Within six days of meeting her, he proposed to her at Egypt Point in Cowes and they married six weeks later in London on November 18, 1944, and moved to married quarters in Worsley Road, Gurnard.

Mr Cullen was then sent to the Far East with orders to prepare for landings against the Japanese, but V-J Day happened before his unit arrived there.

Just after the war, the couple had two sons.

After he left the army, Mr Cullen became managing director of David Joel's furniture company in Kingston, where they designed and manufactured furniture for many famous clients, such as Earl Mountbatten, the then Duchess of York, later the Queen Mother, and the Savoy Hotel, London.

He moved to Compton, a small village near Torquay, in 1955, and started farming — progressing to cattle breeding.

One of the country's first importers of French Limousin cattle, Mr Cullen became chairman of the British Limousin Cattle Society in 1978 — a position he held until1982.

He was also the first non-Frenchman to be elected as president of the International Limousin Congress, held at the Royal Showground, in 1981.

He retired from farming in 1984 and spent more time yacht racing his international dragon and playing golf.

As commodore of the Royal Torbay Yacht Club, in 1988, Mr Cullen organised events in Torbay to celebrate the tercentenary of the William of Orange landings there, in the presence of the Queen and the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Following his wife's death in 2005, Mr Cullen moved to Cowes to be close to his eldest son.

He continued to play golf at Cowes Golf Club until he was 91 and was a member of the RLYC, the Island Sailing Club and, latterly, the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

Mr Cullen is survived by his sons, Richard and Chris, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

His funeral is to be held at St Mary's Church, Cowes, followed by interment at Northwood Cemetery.

 


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