- Edward "Johnny" Peters was born on 12 february 1923 in
Liverpool. He had three sisters and one brother. His father served
on the Western front during World War 1. They lived at the Atheldene
Road and Johnny went to the Florence Melly school.
- On 12 february 1941, on his 18th birthday, he volunteered to join the army. He joined the
70th Battalion The Border Regiment and soon volunteered for the 1st
(Airborne) Battalion, where he served with No. 14 Platoon, B Company.
- Peters saw action in North Africa, Sicily and Italy.
- On 17 september 1944 Peters left for Arnhem on board of Horsa chalk
161. The Horsa was flown by pilot John Place and co-pilot Ralph Maltby.
When they crossed the Dutch coast they came under fire from German flak.
Ralph Maltby was hit and died before a medic could reach him. The Horsa
landed near Wolfheze.
- Together with his friend Eric Borders
Peters dug in along the railway line and not long after that moved to a
brickworks in Renkum. In the afternoon of 18 september B Company
was almost surrounded at the brickworks and the order was given to pull
back. Under cover of the riverbank the company managed to withdraw and moved to the
- On 21 september the company was attacked and had to witdraw from
the high ground at Westerbouwing. They moved to the area of the gasworks.
Peters joined up with A Company and was put into a slit trench with
another soldier from B Company.
- In the night of 25/26th september Peters was withdrawn across the
Rhine. On 27 september he was flown to England. There the battalion was
rebuilded, but never reached the strenght as before Market Garden.
- After the German surrender the 1st British Airborne Division was
send to Norway to supervise the German surrender there.
- Johnny Peters was demobilised in 1946.
- During the war Peters met Eva Rackham (1924-2007). She joined the
navy on 24 augustus 1942 and served until 14 may 1945. She worked as a
steward for the Women's Royal Naval Service. Johnny and Eva married on
16 june 1945.
- In september 1946 Peters found a job at Ransomes, Sims &
Jefferies Ltd in Ipswich. He worked in their blacksmith's shop and in
the years to follow became the assistant manager of the night shift,
which at the height of the company's productivity consisted of three
departments, with five foreman in charge of 150 men.
- When Peters was at the age of nearly 62 he was offered early
retirement, which he accepted.
- Since the early 1970's Peters visited Oosterbeek each year for the
commemorations in september. He became the chairman of the Arnhem 1944 Veterans Club. Later
on he visited Oosterbeek at least twice a year, during the
Airborne March on the first saturday of september and during the
commemorations two weeks later.
- Johnny Peters died on 8 august 2014 after a short illness.