WW1 Alumni

Rayner, PD

Peter Danvers Rayner

Private, the ‘Queens Own’ Royal West Kent Regiment

Age 16, Class Mat B: 'Good powers. Will do well.'

Peter Danvers Rayner was 18 years older when he joined the British Expeditionary Force in 1915. He lived at 15 Hollingbourne Road, Herne Hill with his brother and his parents, Robert and Annie. He was a student at Alleyn’s until 1914 before joining the war effort as part of the Army Reserve. Peter received basic training with the Reserve forces before being transferred to the Buffs Regiment on active service in 1916. In 1917, he received orders to go overseas and was transferred from the Buffs to the ‘Queens Own’ Royal West Kent Regiment. He arrived in Italy with his new regiment in November 1917 and served on the Eastern Front until being transferred to France in March 1918. This transfer was the result of the German Spring Offensive which was consuming a number of British regiments as they struggled to halt the German advance. During these attacks, Peter went missing in action but was later found to be alive and well. He quickly returned to duty and continued to serve in France until the end of the war. For his wartime service he received the British War and Victory Medal.