PETER, Alfred Edwin

Peter, AECaptain 3rd Batt North Staffs Regt att: 9th Batt Leicestershire Regt

Born

21st April 1882.
The youngest son of Reginald Arthur and Adela Church Peter of Klymiarven, East Looe, Cornwall.

Education

Blundell's School, “Westlake” from age 12. May 1894 to Summer 1898.

Family

Next of kin was his wife Mrs. Kathleen Frances Peter (nee Booth) who lived at Cofflete Torquay. They had been married at Holy Trinity Church, Nurera, Eliya, Ceylon on 8th April 1913. She was the third daughter of Mr. I. W. Booth C.M.G. of the Ceylon Civil Service.

Career

He was manager of a large tea estate in Ceylon but resigned his appointment and obtained a commission in the North Staffordshire regiment at the outbreak of war in 1914.

Service

In Feb 1907 he joined the Ceylon Mounted Rifles Reg No 575 Cpl Trumpeter 4 Troop A Sqn.  On or about 1st Aug 1912, he was recommended for promotion to Sergeant. In 1915 he was recommended for a Commission in the Regular Army so discharged from The Ceylon Mounted Rifles on 5th July 1915.
On joining the Regular Army he went to France on 25th July 1915 and was attached to a service battalion of the Leicesters. He was commissioned 2/Lt (on probation) on 26th Oct 1915. From the 13th September 1916 he was entitled to acting rank of Capt; he was commanding a Company from the 9th Bn., Leicestershire Regiment.  He was recommended for posthumous promotion from his Commanding Officer on 1st Mar 1917 to Brigade Commander on 2nd Mar 1917 and Divisional Commander on 4th Mar 1917.

Trench Diaries

The 9th Bn. Leicestershire Regiment were part of 110th Brigade, 21st Division.  In reserve at Souastre with 37th Division on 1st July 1916 and first saw action during the night of 10th July at Fricourt. During the rest of July they were involved in attacks at Bazentin le Petit, Bazentin Woods and in Fricourt again.  During August the company were engaged at St. Pol but returned to the Somme in September, arriving at Dernacourt at midnight on 13th September. To Fricourt on 16th, Bernafay Wood on 18th, and Gueudecourt, New Trench and Gap Trench on 24th September. The war diary notes the night was spent deepening the trench as New Trench was only one foot deep. They attacked again on 25th September but ran into German barrage early in the advance after taking Goat trench with the loss of all officers.

Death

25th September 1916, aged 35.
Killed in action, Somme. He died leading his men into attack.

Burial/Commemoration

Lt. Peter has no known grave so is commemorated on Theipval Memorial, Theipval, Somme, Pillar _, face _.

Memorial

Theipval Memorial is on the D73, off the Main Bapaume to Albert (D929). The Memorial, 150 feet high, was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and can be seen from many of the battle sites in the surrounding area.  It has sixteen piers on whose faces the names of all the men who have no known grave are inscribed. An excellent interpretation centre has been built nearby with research facilities and an “on line” memorial to the missing which contains much valuable information.

Research

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - www.cwgc.org
The National Archives, Public Records Office, Kew: WO 339/46237  and Medal rolls WO 372/15
The Blundellian,  November 1915 p 258
“The Register of Blundell's School, Part II 1882 – 1932” (1932) MAHOOD, A.S., Ed. Entry No.4366
“Cemeteries & Memorials in Belgium & Northern France” (2004) Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 25/490
“British battalions on the Somme” WESTLAKE, R. (2004) Pen and Sword
Field visit (JEA & GRY 28/7/2006)

 

[ back to previous page ]