Gerald Peter

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Gerald was born on December 26th, 1886 at Launceston to Claude and Matilda (nèe Morris) Peter. His father was a local solicitor and also for many years the Town Clerk for Launceston Borough Council.

Gerald and Florence Peter Wedding, Western Daily Mercury. September 5th, 1912
Gerald and Florence Peter Wedding, Western Daily Mercury. September 5th, 1912.

He qualified as a solicitor with honours in 1906 and joined the family firm of Peter and Sons, with their offices at the bottom of Windmill Hill. He married Florence Edith Gertrude Pinniger of Stanton St. Bernard, Wiltshire, at Marylebone, London on September 4th, 1912, and they set up home first at ‘The Bungalow’ (which was renamed ‘The Laurels’), Dunheved Road, and later at ‘Craigmore‘, Windmill Hill (his father’s former residence). Together they had three children, Richard Gerald (d. March 13th, 1984) born on July 16th, 1913, Claude Gilbert (d. 1991) born on July 29th, 1914, and Anthony Stuart born on November 21st, 1916. Anthony joined the Royal Air Force and became a Flight Lieutenant flying ‘Ansons’. He was killed in a flying accident just before the Second World War in 1939.

Anthony Stuart Peter died on March 20th, 1939 when their Blenheim L1459 of no. 23 (Fighter) Squadron, Wittering, Northampton, crashed near Wormleighton railway crossing, between Fenny Compton and Cropready. Pilot P/O Joseph Benjamin Raven and observer P/O Anthony Stewart Peter both baled out but died when both parachutes failed to open.

Gerald, already a Corporal with the Launceston Volunteer Training Corps, served with the army during the First World War, serving as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Garrison Artillery (his younger brother Stuart also served). This was after an appeals tribunal had refused his exemption from service after which his father, a member of the Borough Tribunal, resigned in protest. At the time, Gerald was serving as Deputy Town Clerk to his father and it was with this role that they hoped to overturn the decision not to provide an exemption for Gerald.

Gerald Peter War Tribunal Western Times 09 June 1917
Gerald Peter War Tribunal, Western Times, June 9th, 1917.
Gerald Peter libel case, Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, February 7th, 1941.
Gerald Peter libel case, Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, February 7th, 1941.

During the Second World War, Gerald volunteered for the A.R.P. becoming head warden.

Florence died on February 14th, 1962, with Gerald surviving her to almost the day by six years, passing away on February 11th, 1968. In his will, he left a total of £84,237.

 

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