Sadly we know very little about Herr Hinne, not even his first name, so despite Jane Kirby’s best efforts it has been impossible to find out anything about his early background or his military service.
In his survey of the year, composed in August 1913, Mr Badley wrote; “Next term with Mr. Powell back, we shall not need so much help in modern languages, and this will be given by Herr Hinne, a German, who has been working with our old friend Mr. Schwarz at La Châtaigneraie, and is coming here for a year’s teaching.” In fact he was such a successful addition to the staff that he intended to prolong his stay. (see below)
M. Schwarz and his wife had both taught briefly at Bedales, she as Mademoiselle Buys in 1906, and both of them in the Summer Term of 1907. They planned to open a co-educational school on the shore of Lake Geneva and this took place in 1908. There was considerable interchange between the two schools: Jock Badley spent the year 1911-1912 in Switzerland. Unfortunately La Châtaigneraie has few records earlier than 1924 and their archivist/Historian was unable to enlighten me about Herr Hinne’s time there.
The first issue of the Bedales Chronicle for the year (19th October) recorded that, “Herr Hinne has come from the Swiss Bedales” and that he was one of the eight Bedales Masters who played football regularly. The 1st March 1914 edition announced that Herr Hinne had started a handicrafts activity in chip carving and late in the summer term (12th July) that he had taken over responsibility for “the early sleeping dormitories”.
Penny Denton and Roy Wake, in “Bedales School; the First Hundred Years”, describe how the new master in charge of Physical Education, R. E. Roper, “was horrified by the ferocity of corporal punishment as practised at Bedales”. They commented on Herr Hinne as one of the members of the teaching staff who in staff meetings, “condemned the acceptance of force as the only method of maintaining discipline”. [Looking at his photograph I see the image of a calm, reflective and benevolent man.] The newly formed School Parliament “unanimously voted to abolish house offences and their corresponding punishments”. (pp.66 -67).
Herr Hinne would have completed his military service as a young man and remained liable for recall until the age of 45; therefore he would have received orders to report for duty when Germany mobilised at the end of July. At this point it was still just possible that the forthcoming conflict would be merely an extension of the perpetual Balkan wars of the turn of the century – an east European rather than a European or World War. As he left Bedales he would not have been certain that he could be fighting against his pupils.
It was in the 1915-1916 edition of The Bedales Record, in his customary tributes “In Memoriam” that Mr. Badley wrote:-
“All who were at Bedales just before the war will be grieved to learn that Herr Hinne was killed in the autumn of last year. He had been with us a year when the war broke out, and was to have remained another year at least before returning to Germany to start a school upon similar lines, but had to hurry back at the end of July, 1914, when the order for mobilisation was issued. We shall not soon forget his devotion to the School or his enthusiasm for the methods of "no punishment"; and though he died fighting in the ranks of our enemies, none of us will think of him as anything but a true Bedalian.”