Vickery, Peter Alan Winslow


He was the younger son of Colonel Sir Philip Crawford Vickery CIE, OBE, and Phyllis Field Vickery (née Fairweather), of Moat House, Hampton Poyle, Oxfordshire.

He was sixth on his Roll into College, and went steadily up the school to Senior Division. He was an editor of The Wykehamist, and during his last two years he did Special History, winning the Vere-Herbert Smith History Prize, the McDowell Prize, and a scholarship at Christ Church, Oxford.   He spent a year at Oxford in 1942-1943 before joining the army, and secured a First in the section of the Modern History School which he was able to take.

He had been accepted as a candidate for a commission in the Coldstream Guards, and joined the Depot at Caterham in July 1943, passing out in January 1944 to become “an exceptionally fine officer” and one of the best of their infantry instructors. He was drafted in August 1944 to Italy to join 3rd Battalion, which operated in the Appennines throughout the winter. His company commander in 3rd Battalion wrote:  “He was universally popular with both officers and guardsmen alike. He was most conscientious and no task, however hazardous, ever deterred him in the slightest bit… and always, whether in or out of the line, he remained his charming, cheerful self.”

Between February 19th and April 2nd 1945, 2 and 3 Coldstream were amalgamated, and the resulting unit was designated 2 Coldstream.   With them, Vickery took part in the attacks which led to the forcing of the Argenta Gap, a key position whose passage was vital if the  Allies were to break north and destroy the enemy, which began on April 14th 1945. It took 2 Coldstream four days of fighting through dense minefields and under continuous fire to break through. Vickery’s commanding officer wrote of the Argenta Gap battle:   “It was only by such great leadership and example as shown by Peter that this particular battle could have been won.”

He died of wounds on April 18th 1945, eleven days before the final surrender of the Germans in Italy, and some three months before his twenty-first birthday.   He rests in grave III.D.19 of the Argenta Gap War Cemetery.

 

War: World War 2

  • Surname: Vickery
  • Forenames or initials: Peter Alan Winslow
  • House: College
  • Years in School: 1937-1942
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Coldstream Guards
  • Date of Birth: 12th July 1924
  • Date of Death: 18th April 1945
  • How Died: Died of Wounds
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner B2
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Argenta Gap War Cemetery: Grave III.D.19