CELEBRATION OF LIFE

On Saturday 19th March, family, and friends of Hans George Bernard Fleischner (C45) came together to celebrate his life and say their final goodbye at Downside Abbey’s Monastic Cemetery.

Dom Leo Maidlow Davis conducted the Interment of Ashes Service in the Monastic Cemetery following special permission granted by the Abbot. He was joined by Hans’ family and friends who had travelled from the US and Austria. Christopher Jones-Parry (B46), one of Hans’ longstanding contemporaries and his son, Simon (B74), also attended.

During the Service, Dom Leo spoke of Hans’ journey to Downside in 1941 after fleeing from the dangers of his home country and how he witnessed the horrific Air Crash in 1944 where nine pupils sadly lost their lives. Hans, extremely lucky, came away sustaining a small scar from flying debris on his hand.

The Raven notes Hans’ involved in various sports, from competing in the Inter House Gymnastics competition, cricket, and sports editor for The Raven. He was a House Prefect, a member of the CCF and actively took part in the Abingdon Society.

Whilst Hans’ ashes were laid to rest by one of his sons, Upper Sixth Form pupil Dominic sang an exquisite solo of In paradisum to the traditional plainsong melody, which Hans would have loved being an avid fan of performing arts, opera, and symphony.

Hans’ grave can now be found in the Monastic Cemetery alongside the nine pupils and pilot of the Air Crash, and opposite his good friend Dom Lawrence. The full Order of Service can be found here.

The memories and experiences during his time at Downside anchored Hans to the School for the remainder of his life and we are extremely grateful to him and his family for this enduring loyalty. As a longstanding benefactor of Downside, his donations have made an enormous impact on the School, its pupils and their families. From supporting the Father Lawrence Bursary Fund through to the refurbished Fleischner Theatre in 2017, Hans has laid the path for many pupils to receive a Downside education as well as establish their love for the performing arts. Our thanks will forever be with Hans Fleischner and his family for their generous support.

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