William Daun Peter,
1st/5th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders
Died 19th March 1917 age 20
Private W. D. Peter – Gordon Hrs
This is William Daun Peter, born at Kemnay on 18 April 1896, son of William Peter and Mary McDonald. William and Mary married at Aberdeen in 1895. William is described in the records as a quarry labourer and farm servant, but something appears to have caused an upturn in the family’s fortunes between the births of their first three children, Mary Ann, William and James (all born Kemnay), and a later two – John and Margaret (both born Kincardine O’Neil). By the time of the 1911 Census, William (senior) was farming on his own account at Balmannocks, Torphins, and William (junior) was employed working on the farm. The birth records of the children suggest a move to the parish some time between about 1899 and 1905.
Peter enlisted and became a Private in the 1st/5th Bn. Gordon Highlanders (no. 242229) who in the spring of 1917 were serving on the Western Front as a part of the 153rd infantry brigade. He died aged 20 on 19 March 1917, apparently as the result of an accident. The battalion war diary records:
19 March 1917 – ANZIN ROCLINCOURT FIRING LINE “The period was quiet. A good deal of improvement was made on the trenches by our men. One other rank was killed and two wounded by the accidental discharge of a rifle”.
It looks as though William Peter was that “other rank” recorded in the diary. He was buried at Maroeuil British Cemetery.