Peter, Anthony Stewart (1917-1939)
Sherborne School, UK, Book of Remembrance for former pupils who have lost their lives in the service of their country, 1919-1939 and 1946 to date.
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Credit: Sherborne School Archives, Abbey Road, Sherborne, Dorset, UK, DT9 3AP.
Details: Anthony Stewart Peter (1917-1939), born 22 November 1917 at Launceston, Cornwall, son of Gerald Peter, solicitor, Craigmore, Launceston, Cornwall. Brother to Richard Gerald Peter (1913-1984) and Claude Gilbert Peter (1914-1991).
Attended St Petroc's School, Bude, Cornwall.
Attended Sherborne School (Abbeylands), September 1931-July 1934; Trebles (1934).
Attended the City and Guilds Imperial Institute.
Acting Pilot Officer, Royal Air Force.
Died on 20 March 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.
Sherborne School Book of Remembrance.
Birmingham Daily Post, 24 March 1939:
TWO YOUNG AIRMEN KILLED NEAR LEAMINGTON.
An inquest was held at Southam yesterday on Flying Officers Joseph Benjamin Raven (22) and Anthony Stewart Peter (22), of Wittering Camp, Northampton, who lost their lives in a crash near Wormleighton railway crossing, between Fenny Compton and Cropready, on Monday. It was stated that the men were seen to jump from a Blenheim bomber, which was in difficulties. Raven, the pilot, dropped without succeeding in opening his parachute, the rip cord not having been moved. Peter, the observer, had partially opened his parachute, but the view was expressed that he was too near the earth when the jump was made and there had not been time for it fully to expand. The aeroplane was smashed in a field where it had “pancaked.” Raven was stated to hail from Cirencester and Peter from Launceston. Frank W. Adams, foreman of a gang of platelayers, said that his attention was called to the peculiar character of the aeroplane’s movements. He noticed an object become detached from the machine. It was at first too small to be identified and he thought it was a coat. The machine was now falling at considerable speed, the engines having stopped, and there was obvious trouble. Replying to the Coroner, Squadron Leader H.L. Rough, R.A.F., of Digby, said that it was not safe to jump from an aeroplane and use a parachute under an altitude of a thousand feet. The initial drop was undertaken at great speed, and the weight had to be absorbed. Addressing the jury, the Coroner said it was very tragic that two young fellows who were learning a very dangerous profession with the object of protecting the lives of their fellow countrymen should lose their own when not engaged in the heat of battle. A full investigation would be made by the R.A.F. authorities. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.