Peter was born in Lambeth on 3 July 1936, so prematurely that he was not expected to live and an emergency baptism was arranged. He was named Peter after the brother of the sister-in-charge, Sister Quennell. Perhaps Peter’s path as a historian was set from that moment as his namesake Peter Quennell went on to become one of the most eminent historians of the last century. The London blitz saw his family bombed out and they moved first to Abingdon and then to Godalming with his father’s fellmongering business.
Peter attended Godalming Grammar School from 1946 until 1955 and then read history at Birmingham University. He met Hazel White in the Vth form at school and they later married in April 1962 and had two sons, James and Matthew.
Peter began his long and successful teaching career at Goldsworth in Woking but in 1963 he joined Knaphill Secondary School, later the Winston Churchill School where he taught until retirement in 1994.
He enjoyed sport, playing club tennis and badminton, and became Treasurer and Chair of the Godalming Lawn Tennis Club. He later joined Holloway Hill Bowls Club and enjoyed golf at Broadwater. Until ill-health intervened. He and Hazel enjoyed travelling, with major trips to Australia, New Zealand, the Far East and South Africa as well as the USA and Canada, including meeting up or staying with ex-pat OGs, school friends that Hazel had tracked down when organising her 1997 re-union. Peter latterly suffered kidney disease and diabetes and died from a combination of these and a heart attack.