A NORFOLK CONNECTION, A PRINCE AND A NEAR MISS
Peter arrived in Norfolk 20 years ago to become IT director for Norfolk police. But it was not his first connection with the county. He was previously in the Royal Navy, serving aboard HMS Norfolk as a meteorologist and oceanographer. It is a naval tradition that sailor’s babies can be baptised, using the upturned ship’s bell as a font - their names are then inscribed on the bell. Peter’s daughter Katie was baptised aboard HMS Norfolk, but when the ship was sold Peter did not know where the bell had gone – until he arrived for his first meeting at Norfolk County Hall and saw it above the entrance to the council chamber.
Peter also served on HMS Invincible during the Falklands War, alongside Prince Andrew.
He was on deck with the operations officer and Prince Andrew when a missile was launched at the ship. “We were ordered to hit the deck. I knew that any second an exocet would burst through,” said Peter. “But we had fired chaff. A missile locks on to the biggest target and when lots of aluminium goes up, the missile follows that.” It veered away from the Invincible, but the nearby Atlantic Conveyor was hit, killing 12 men and destroying 10 helicopters.