Peter Grant was born in 1916 (possibly on the 10th of May 19161) in Doncaster, Yorkshire to William George Grant2 (Draper/Clothier) and Harriet Grant nee Jones3.
He was married at 23 Melville Street, The Haymarket, Edinburgh on 18th September 1937, aged 21, where he declares that his profession is Musician4. His bride was the 18 year old Ballet Dancer5, Rosemary Yolanda Clegg; the name given to her when she was adopted. Her birth name had been Rose Amy Wolf. They were both living in Chelsea at that time; he, at 11 Stanley Studios (or Mansions)6 Park Walk, and she at 86 Beaufort Street.
In 1941, on 19th June, Peter registered the birth of their daughter, Rosemary, who was born on 5th June 1941 at 321 Upper Richmond Road. He names his profession as Author, also Rifleman,(it was in the middle of WWII) with the Kings Royal Rifles7 giving his serial number as 6850801. Rosemary Grant, formerly Clegg is registered as the mother. His address at that time was given as 39 Lower Richmond Road, Putney.
His mother died on 20th April 19458 at the Royal Infirmary, Doncaster, leaving an estate of £2099 s2 d2 to her husband, William George Grant (Draper) and her son William Peter Grant (Author)
There are two possible dates for his death; there is a Peter Grant who died in Leeds in 1969 (and who was born ‘about 1916’, ref 2c 8799, and a Peter William Grant who died in Cuckfield, Sussex, in 1980, ref 18 188110
I am persuaded into accepting the latter as *our* Peter Grant, because there is a death record11 of a William George Grant in Cuckfield in 1951, whose birth year matches that of his father, and a record12 of his estate, at the time of his death, 8th October, 1951 at Barn Cottage, West Hoathly, near East Grinstead, Sussex, of £2764 s4 d3 which goes to his son William Peter Grant ‘of no occupation’.
Phone records put Peter at Barn Cottage, West Hoathly from 1949 to 1968 (with a few gaps either in the record collection or as books weren’t published every year)
West Hoathly is a very picturesque little hamlet, with a strong community. There is almost certainly information to be found there, perhaps in the local pub, the Cat, or in the parish records.
We have discovered (I must credit my niece Danu @danuiseult entirely for this research), that during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, Peter recorded the late traditional musician, Lewis ‘Scan’ Tester13 at his home, Barn Cottage and at The Cat. He collaborated on these collections with Mervyn Plunkett and Reg Hall.
Oxford Reference dot Com has archival evidence of a quarterly periodical called ‘Ethnic’ subtitled ‘A Quarterly Survey of English Folk Music, Dance and Drama’, published by Mervyn Plunkett, Reg Hall and Peter Grant.
The sole piece of evidence I have of him myself is an ancient piece of hand-written music, with a note at the bottom, to Yolanda, signed Peter.
This is the sum total of my knowledge of Peter William Grant.
I should be enormously grateful for any information YOU may have of him. You may leave a comment on this blog or contact me via Twitter @LucyMJG
1. Death Register
2,3,4,5,6. Marriage record
7. Birth Record, Rosemary Grant
8. Wills & Probate record
9. Death Register (Leeds)
10. Death Register (Cuckfield)
11. Death Register (Cuckfield)
12. Wills & Probate record
13. Credits on Album sleeve
Since writing this blog I have found out a little more about Peter. He was married for a second time to Lorna Docking in 1944 and they had two children, a girl, Jennifer and a boy Norman. He married for a third time in 1948 to Evelyn Honor Lucille Gilliat-Smith, who was with him in at Barn Cottage, Hoathly, West Sussex, until he died.
I have also come across some photos which I believe MUST be Peter Grant. There is a little wallet of pictures and negatives that are clearly taken at the same address, the building, dustbin etc are the same. It may very well be 39 Lower Richmond Road. some of the photos are of him during WWII in uniform and one is in a civilian suit. There is also a photograph of a child which I think looks as though it may be the same person. I do hope someone out there will one day read this blog and identify him!