Chauffeur to Sir William Gray of Thorp Perrow
Peter Brown was born on 26 November 1878 at Piper Hall, Burton on Ure, Masham. His parents were Mary and William Brown, Farmer’s Hind at Gebdykes, Masham.
Peter started out as a Horseman, but by 1911 he was the Chauffeur to Sir William Gray of Thorp Perrow, near Snape. Gray had bought Thorp Perrow in 1904. He was a Shipbuilder in Hartlepool and as such needed his Chauffeur to take him to various meetings, especially as he was carrying out work of National Importance for the Admiralty. Gray appealed against the conscription of his Chauffeur. The North Riding Appeal Tribunal granted an exemption until 1January 1917, after which date Peter joined the armed services.
No military records survive for Peter Brown. The Absent Voters List for 1917 states he was Private M/347233 in the 5th Auxiliary Petrol Company, Army Service Corps.
After the war Peter returned to his job as chauffeur to Sir William Gray. However, he was lame and was demoted to second chauffeur. He was also given responsibility for the electrical plant, which served the house and offices. The plant contained glass batteries and, according to his grandson, smelt strongly of acid.
Some years later, following an x-ray it was discovered that Peter had dislocated his hip, probably during his army service, and this had caused his lameness.
Peter died at Northfields Farm, Patrick Brompton on 20th August 1961. He is buried at St Gregory’s Church, Bedale.
The 1914-1918 War Memorial panels in St Mary’s Chapel, Snape lists P. Brown as one of the men of Snape who served and returned.