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Thomas Edward Heep


Thomas Edward Heep (Pinkie) was born in 1894 to Uriah and Samantha Heep.  The last of 14 children, Thomas’ early years are clouded in contradiction and mystery as Pinkie’s family moved many times.  We do know Thomas attended Pembroke Boys Academy in 1900.   Uriah, the elder, was reported to be a weaver and loomsman.  Some scholars have documented Thomas’ early years as being confined to a closet and rarely seen during the day.  Others however, have suggested he was an avid goat herder and sheep follower.  It is known that early on Thomas was recognized as extremely gifted at being average.

Pestered by his older brothers and sisters Thomas life was in turmoil and he sought refuge and food.  His father would often enter the children’s dining area and throw scraps to them and watch as they scurried to fight for dinner.  Uriah was not known as a family man.  This then was the foundation for young Thomas’ fanatical devotion to etiquette and proper behavior.  He refused to roughhouse with his siblings and insisted on using table napkins when he was allowed to gobble a morsel of food.  He insisted on a daily “high tea” and would pretend to eat sconces and drink tea. Using a crudely fashion cup made of mud, he would bring the vessel to his lips and raise his little finger as a sign of refinement.  Thus was the genesis of the nickname ”Pinkie”.  That plus the fact Thomas was continually embarrassed by his lack of privacy, so much so he was always reddened in the face.   Thomas perfered the former interpretation of the nickname.

Always interested in sheep and woolen goods, Pinkie set off to Scotland in the early days of 1910 and met up with one Angus Dundee McTavish.  McTavish and Heep formed a long lasting friendship which would carry them to their destiny and fame in the Lost Squadron.  They were inseparable and could often be seen roaming the moors, chasing sheep.  Heep did not have the mechanical skills that so distinguished McTavish, but he was always willing to pass a wrench or screwdriver as his friend worked feverishly on his latest “invention”.  Heep, however, could be called upon to set a table for tea in an instant, and with very favorable reviews.  He was known through out the Highlands as a tea and crumpet man.  He was renown for his fiery cry of  “ Say now, let’s have a cuppa”!

His coming to the Lost Squadron and flying career is so entwined with that of McTavish, the reader is referred to that heroic saga for details.  Heep survived the war and wrote many of the mission details in his personal diary.  It is from his diary that much of the LS history is taken, all except the reported sheep fondling incident which we shall overlook.  Heep remained a man of mystery in the Lost Squadron, he was constantly in the back ground, planning, plotting and delivering needed information, no matter the challenge.  Always smelling faintly of ozone, or “electrical” as many would say, Heep kept in constant readiness and ever vigilant.

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