Lawrence Theodore Ford, more usually known as Peter, who died on 24th October 1993, was born in 1920 in Aldwincle House, Kettering, Northamptonshire, the home of John Dryden, a fact that gave him ironic pleasure.

After leaving school at Wellingborough, he served as a deckhand on Brixham trawlers, a tough existence which taught him to respect the true values of human nature and gave him a profound love of the sea.

With the War on the horizon, he joined the East Surrey Regiment and on mobilization was posted to the 1st Battalion in Colchester. Transferring to the Royal Sussex Regiment in 1940, he fought in the BEF and was evacuated from Cherbourg in June 1940.

The following year he transferred to the Reconnaissance Corps with which he served for the rest of the War, crossing to Normandy in late June 1944, and was Mentioned in Despatches.

By then Peter had been granted a Regular Commission in the Royal Armoured Corps and in one more transfer, he became an 8th Hussar in April 1946.

With his easy ability to mix with everybody he was soon absorbed into Regirnental life, and in 1948 was appointed Adjutant of the Northamptonshire Yeomanry, returning to his native county. From 1950-1953 he stayed in England, mainly on attachment to the 8th Royal Tank Regiment, before rejoining the Regiment in Lüneburg, where they had been stationed following the Korean War.

In 1954 he took part in a parade commemorating the Centenary of the Battle of Balaklava, during a rehearsal for which his horse, taking exception to the Band as it marched past, backed smartly through the serried ranks of soldiers linked up behind him.

His final posting was to Malta where he took command, as a Major, of the 67 Carrier Borne Ground Liaison Section. As a ground liaison officer with the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm he spent two adventuresome years abroad HMS Centaur and was awarded the ERD in 1955; returned to the Regiment still in Lüneburg at the beginning of 1957 and leaving six months before Amalgamation in 1958, when he retired.

Peter married twice; first to Penelope in 1945 and had two sons but was divorced in 1965. He then married Lorraine in 1968, and they settled in Cockfield, Suffolk. He took a large part in the life of the local community, in particular becoming the energetic secretary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution which retained his lifelong interest and concern for “the men who go down to the sea in ships”.

This, together with committee work on numerous organisations, kept his life busy until the end.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 8th Hussars