Source: Found during C.O.D. registry search for Private Horace Pegg.
Imagine your nearest park reduced to a cold quagmire of mud, craters filled with water, bodies half buried in the mud, no trees or vegetation. That is what faced Peter PEGG at dawn on the morning of November 12, 1917 at Passchendaele, France. The attack on the Germans had been stalled by the battlefield conditions. Wounded men drowned in the water filled crater holes unable to get back up out of the mud. You might be in an underground bunker when a shell exploded and you were buried alive. The battlefield conditions could be just as dangerous as facing the enemy.
Peter PEGG was sent up to the front line where he was slightly wounded in the left arm and was making his way back to a dressing station. It is not known what happened to him after that. He was buried by the Ger-mans and the cross at the museum is the original cross placed on his grave.
Peter PEGG lived a short life, born 1 June 1897 in Harwich Township, Kent County, Ontario, the ninth child and seventh son of Peter PEGG and his wife Keziah JACKLIN.
The paternal grandfather of J. Peter was James PEGG, born in Saxthorpe, Norfolk County, England, from a line of PEGG family who were house and stack thatchers. As adults, James with his brothers, Thomas, John and William and their sister Mary Ann all came to Ontario in 1835, settling near Burlington, Ontario and marrying near there. James married Elizabeth WHARTON in 1849 and started a family. In 1852, he traveled on foot to Harwich Township near Blenheim, cleared the tim-bered land, placed it under cultivation and erected buildings before bringing his family to live there. There was no railroad and no luxuries. The family traveled by wagon with all their belongings. James and Elizabeth had a daughter Frances Ann, followed by three sons, Peter, Henry J., and William Thomas. All of the local PEGG descendants today come from the lines of Peter and William Thomas and Frances Ann as Henry relo-cated to New Mexico for the rest of his life and then spelled his last name PEGUE.
James PEGG from Saxthorpe, Burlington, and now Blenheim, had purchased 139 acres on Lot 9, Concession 2, West Com-munication Road, Harwich Township on 17 November 1848. Today, descendants of this family still remain on seven acres of the land. My sister Judith and her husband Hank DERKZEN have a home and nursery of shrubs and trees there.
James Peter PEGG our main subject enlisted at St. Thomas, Ontario and in May of 1917 is at Bramshott Camp, London, England when a dozen of the men take the train to Edinburgh, Scotland for several days visit. J. PETER writes home about how much they like Edinburgh; so much more than London; “the people there treat the Canadian and Australian soldiers so well, can hardly do enough for them.” “Next to Canada this is the home for me. Will be hard getting down to work again when we get back to camp. It is drill there not play like we had in Chatham.” In another letter he mentions, “knowing some of the men who have returned, a rough bunch, but believe me one could not want better friends, if needed they would stick to you to the last.” In a letter dated 10 July 1917 from Bramshott: “Most of the boys have been transferred from C, the training company into H. the draft company so we expect to be transferred soon and the sooner the better for us.” “Received a box from Mary DENT on Saturday so we had a bun feed that night. She sent the stuff in a tin box, the same as Mother did, but if anyone would have wanted to open it they would have had to use an axe. It was soldered around the lid. But we have a tin cutter and it didn’t take long to open it.” In an August of 1917 letter he mentions his brother, “Albert has a sprained ankle and Paddy has a fractured ankle. A bomb struck his foot (Paddy) when they were practicing throwing, so he went to the hospital and is being treated very well.” In perhaps his last letter on October 26, 1917 from “France, Somewhere,” he writes that, “Hal has received a five dollar bill in a letter, but is having a hard time to get it changed into francs. They are sleeping in tents at present, just fifteen to one, just like sardines, but we have a good time. Have been in huts, but we are just like a rabbit (Home wherever we stop).” In a letter from Roy GRAY, a great friend of J. PETER, writes 18 April 1918 from France: “since Peter has been away from us, I have thought of him and you folks almost continually and have been trying to find some trace of him and when the boys came out of the line at different times they would always ask me if I had heard anything of Pete and sorry to say I could not seem to find any trace of him until I heard he was officially reported missing and then I was rather doubtful of this report. I was down to the battalion yesterday to visit the boys and while there news came in that Pete was a prisoner of war in Germany and although we boys were tickled to know that he is still alive, we were rather grieved to think he is in the Germans hands but I think from now on our prisoners in Germany will be well treated and I do think they will be released as this war is almost to a close.”
Source and date for above unknown.
Pte. Peter Pegg Died a Prisoner
Last week the following message was received by Mr. Peter PEGG concerning his son, about whose disappearance from the lines on Nov. 12th there appeared to be a great deal of mystery: “Deeply regret to inform you 189868 Pte. Peter PEGG, infantry, previously reported through German sources died, now officially reported died of wounds whilst a prisoner of war at Iseghem, Belgium, Nov 19, 1917. Just how Pte. PEGG fell into the hands of the enemy after he left the dressing station where he was traced to, is a mystery, but it is possible that he might have been dazed and wandered in the wrong direction. According to previous letters from the boys in the battalion he was not wounded seriously, so he must have suffered other wounds before he became a prisoner. Pete was one of the noblest of all the noble young soldiers who left Blenheim, and no one who knew him can have any doubt but that he fills a brave soldier’s grave. His grave was located in Belgium and later his body has been exhumed and buried in a British Cemetery, Tyne Cot near Ypres.
Blenheim New Tribune, April 24, 1918
Blenheim Lady dies at Lansing
Mrs. Peter PEGG, Keziah PEGG had a record of four sons and a son-in-law serving in the Great War. Three sons in the Canadian Army, Peter, Albert and Charles while William served with the United States. The widow passed away on Saturday at the home of her son George in Lansing, Michigan. Funeral held at her son Arthur’s home on McGregor Street, Blenheim and burial is in Evergreen Cemetery.
Blenheim New Tribune, March 11, 1925