Peter was born in 1894 in Runcorn to John and Elizabeth Thompson and was one of 11 children. He was employed at the Salt Union Works at Weston Point. In the 1911 census his job is listed as a chemist errand boy.
He enlisted at Frodsham and went to France on 17th July 1915.
On the day that Peter was killed his battalion where in action at Festubert, France and 2nd Lt Jospeh Henry Collins was awarded the VC. The VC action involved Peter’s unit, and it is probable that Lt Collins was Peters C/O, and that Peter may have been involved in the action for which the VC was awarded.
The action was at Givenchy east of Bethune and a summary of his citation is below. They were both buried in Cuinchy before being reinterred at Vieille-Chapelle New Military Cemetery Lacouture.
“After offering a long and gallant resistance against heavy odds in the Keep held by his platoon, this officer, with only five of his men remaining, slowly withdrew in the face of superior numbers, contesting every inch of the ground. The enemy were pressing him hard with bombs and machine-gun fire from close range. Single-handed 2nd Lt. Collin attacked the machine gun and team. After firing his revolver into the enemy, he seized a Mills grenade and threw it into the hostile team, putting the gun out of action, killing four of the team and wounding two others. Observing a second hostile machine gun firing, he took a Lewis gun, and selecting a high point of vantage on the parapet whence he could engage the gun, he, unaided, kept the enemy at bay until he fell mortally wounded. The heroic self-sacrifice of 2nd Lt. Collin was a magnificent example to all.”
Peter is buried in the Vielle-Chapelle New Military Cemetery, Lacoutre, france, Plot 3 Row E Grave 18.
He is also commemorated on the Runcorn War Memorial on Greenway Road.
Compiled by Graeme Ainsworth with assistance from Percy Dunbavand