Lloyd, Group Captain C R D Peter (OBE)
Better known as Peter. Born 6th September 1911. Died 13′” October 1998.
Sadly at the age of 4 he lost his father who was killed early in World War 1. After Prep School in Brighton he attended Hurst from 1927 to 1930. Having joined the OTC, he had his first flight while at Summer Camp at Tidworth. He was so thrilled by the experience that he determined to make the RAF his career. Having passed the Civil Service exam, he entered Cranwell in 1930. He was commissioned as a Pilot in 1932. He trained on Aron 504Ns, Bristol Bulldogs, Atlases and Siskins (if anyone is old enough to remember what they all were!)
He then undertook six months Army co-operation training after which he was posted to Quetta in India to protect the Bolam Pass. When he was there, there occurred the dreadful Quetta earthquake when some 17,000 were killed, including 52 RAF airmen. In 1934 there followed a posting to Peshawan, which is at the head of the Kyber Pass and was at the center of the North West Frontier War.
1936 saw a return to the UK to undergo a year’s specialized course in Bombing, gunnery and Armament. It was at this time that he was initiated into the Hurst Johnian Lodge on 19′” November 1936. At the end of the course he was posted to the Air Ministry Directorate of Bomb Development. His first office m the Lodge was as JD in 1939 which he held for two years. However promotion to Sqn Ldr and posting to the RCAF Bombing and Gunnery School as Chief Instructor put paid to further Masonic promotion but not to that within the RAF. In 1942 he returned to the UK with the rank of Wing Cmdr to commence operational training on Halifax and Lancaster heavy bombers.
In 1943, with the rank of Gp.Capt he took command of RAF Scampton, a two squadron Lancaster heavy bomber station. The primary targets were those of the railway networks and steel works of the Ruhr and the V1 and V2 factories. At the end of the War he was awarded the OBE and selected to head a flight of three Lancasters to fly to Santiago to represent the UK at the inauguration of the now President of Chile. This trip involved the first crossing of the South Atlantic by Lancasters (Not quite an Alcock and Brown but a milestone all the same). A Staff College posting followed his return tot he UK, which, in turn, was followed by numerous other postings during which time he was able to pick up his Masonic career, becoming Master of the Lodge in 1953. A year at the Global National Defence College of Canada preceded his last appointment as Gp.Capt, Air Intelligence in Washington before retirement from the RAF at 50.
Return to civilian life was not easy until he accepted a job conducting Christian Stewardship campaigns for several Dioceses, a task he thought would be frightful, but which proved unbelievably absorbing, helped, he was sure by his Masonic background. So successful was he that the member of one parish, who was a director of a well known steel works, told him “if you can promote steel as well as you promote the Church, I might have a job for you’. Five months later Peter was Director of the Central Promotions and Technical Advisory Agency for the whole of the sheet steel industry, a job which he performed successfully until steel was nationalized. Another five months later and he was Personnel manager of Blick International overseeing their move from London to Swindon. He continued in this role to final retirement at the age of 68. During this time he regularly attended the Lodge, being appointed to LGR in 1970. Living a distance from London and Hurst, as well as advancing years and a gradual deterioration in health precluded him from attending during the last thirteen years, except on the occasion of his Diamond Jubilee as a Freemason in November 1996.
Peter was a man of great charm with a puckish wit and sense of fun who engendered a great depth of affection in those who knew him He will be sorely missed by all those who have known him as was testified by the packed congregation at his funeral when the Club and the Lodge were represented.
Peter left a widow, Vivienne, and two sons (both OJs).