top of page

Peter Quilter

Peter has had a lifelong interest in history and as a child, rescued his grandfather’s fire helmet from the garage, removing many spiders in the process!

Because of his interest, he inherited his grandfather's 'sea chest' with various photographs, documents and two Occurrence Books from his Fire Station, Bow in East London, from the time of the Blitz. Over the years, he has spent many hours reading them and wondering about the people whose names were recorded in them.

Like so many, his grandfather did not speak of his experiences but, after he died, Peter had the opportunity to meet several Firemen and Firewomen (as they were known at the time) who had served with his grandfather, some of whose names appeared in the Occurrence Books.

When lockdown happened, Peter had the idea of using Ancestry, Social media and existing contacts to find out more about the names in the Occurrence Books – the men and women who had served at the fire station during the Blitz. These were “ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”

His long hours of research were rewarded with many photographs as well as some stories and documents which he calls “the echoes of history.” He also found a large number of people, unsurprisingly, who did not know what their ancestors had done and were excited and sometimes emotional learning what he could tell them. One particular man seemed to have always compared his uncle’s military service which he knew a lot about with no knowledge of his father’s service as a Fireman in the Blitz – our conversation was a revelation to him.

All of this left Peter with a determination that the stories, the faces of these men and women, and their sacrifices deserved to be told.

Peter Quilter
bottom of page