On this day in 1916, Herbert George Peters (1891-1916) died after being shot in the stomach in France.
When he left these shores in May 1912 to start a new life in Canada with his fiancée, Herbert could never have imagined returning to England three years later to fight in the Great War.
On August 14, 1915 – a year after Britain had declared war on Germany – Herbert enlisted in the 83rd Overseas Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF).
Just over a month later, he sailed with them to England on the troop ship SS Corsican.
He was a private in the 19th Battalion of CEF when he arrived on the Western Front in April 1916.
He was shot in the stomach in France five months later and died from his wounds at the British Army Hospital in Boulogne on September 20, 1916, aged 25.
Herbert was working as a general labourer and living at 144 Curzon Street, Toronto when he joined the 83rd Overseas Battalion.
He fought in the trenches at Mont des Cats, near Godewaersvelde in northern France in July 1916 and was treated in hospital for trench fever two months before his death.
Herbert was buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery.
The words ‘roses may wither and friends cease to be and some may forget him, but never will we’ were inscribed on his headstone.
Herbert is remembered on Ashprington War Memorial – and is among 26,000 officers and men listed in a Roll of Honour compiled by the 9th Marquis of Ruvigny.
Herbert married Florence Alice Roberts (1889-) in York, Toronto on May 31, 1912 – just four days after arriving in Quebec. They had two young children in 1913 and 1914, Florence May and William Herbert.
Florence was the daughter of William Roberts (1855-1923) and Elizabeth Eliza Sage (1855-1908). William was the eldest son of John Roberts (1829-1919), who great-great grandfather who had 30 grandsons serving in the Great War.
Born on March 22, 1891 in Ashprington, near Totnes, Herbert was the son of thatcher John William Peters (1855-) and Bessie Sandford (1857-1950). Herbert met Florence when she worked for widow Fanny Maria Wilford at Myrtle Cottage in Ashprington in the early 1900s. At the time, he was working for farmer Herman Palk at Bow Mills, Harbertonford. They sailed from Plymouth to Canada in the ocean liner Lake Erie on May 17, 1912 and arrived in Quebec 10 days later. Florence, born in 1889 in Cruwys Morchard, was baptised there on September 2, 1889. She married Sidney Johnson, the son of Henry and Mary Johnson, of London, in Toronto on April 29, 1920.
Herbert Peters. Picture on Find a Grave – added by Operation Picture Me, who find photographs of Canada’s fallen heroes.