Peter Labouchere died at his home at Sculthorpe Old Rectory where he was born when his father was Rector of that Parish fifty-nine years ago.

After Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, he joined the 3rd Hussars in 1927 during their move from Egypt to India, where he spent the next five years with the Regiment.

He later became Adjutant and eventually commanded during the war after G.S.O. 1 to an Armoured Division.

These bare facts conceal a remarkable personality. Time spent in Labby’s company was never wasted. A brilliant and highly imaginative raconteur, his endless stories, generally founded on quite trivial incidents, were always funny, always kindly, and more often than not against himself.

As a subaltern, his purse was as slender as his stature was generous, but great weight and a lack of spare cash never interfered with his love of sport, handicap that it was. Those of us who went pigsticking with him in India will never forget his perspiring figure dressed in a bush shirt, and with what were always known as “Grandfather’s boots” which were of immense proportions. At “back” in the Regimental polo team any attempt to ride him off was only wasted effort. He chased tigers in the jungle (with some success) and shot duck on the jheels, as later in England he hunted the fox and even rode in a few point-to-points undeterred by several stone overweight.

After retiring from the Army to live once again in his beloved Norfolk, he could rarely refuse any request on his time or energy if he felt he could be of help. A member of the Church Assembly, a County Councillor until recently, a very active J.P. and many other activities of County or Parish level.

He loved his shooting, and yet was known to refuse invitations to Scotland in August if they should clash with Army Cadet Force Camps, where he felt he could be of help. He also worked for the British Legion, and many charities.

Generous to a degree, he would invite a friend to shoot in his place in the syndicate at Raynham while he acted as loader. His constant running comment, and occasional reluctance to hand over the second gun, all added to the fun.

He was staying and shooting with friends in Dorset only three days before his death.

A fine shot, a great sportsman, and one who lived up to the highest tradition of service to others, the deepest sympathy of his many friends goes out to his devoted wife and family.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 3rd Hussars