Lieutenant Colonel Peter James Cayley Vyner Royal Army Ordnance Corps
The Man Peter James Cayley Vyner was born on 16th July 1924 in India, son of Richard James Grant Cayley Vyner, a Captain in the Royal Garrison Artillery and Vera Helen. He was one of four children, Alice L born in 1918, Sheila B 1920 and B M (names unknown)1930. Interestingly Peter’s Grandfather, Richard John Vyner was a naturalised citizen and originally a natural born subject of the Austro-Hungarian Empire having been born in Vienna. In July 1925, the family returned from India sailing aboard the Mashobra, a ship of the British & Indian Steam Navigation Company, from Calcutta and landing at Plymouth on 9th July. Two years later Peter sailed again with his parents from Avonmouth, to Kingston, Jamaica, landing on 14th March 1927 aboard the Bayano, a ship of the Elders & Fyffes Line under the Master F H Swain. They remained in Jamaica for the next nine yeas returning to the UK, Peter now aged 12, on 21st July 1936 aboard the Jamaica Pioneer. Richard and Vera having given birth to a fourth child whilst there B M. Little details is known about Peter’s early life, but in April 1942 during World War II and aged 17 he enlisted into an unknown Regiment of the British Army with service number EC12048 and promoted to Lance Corporal spending 1 year 241 days in the ranks before being granted an Emergency Commission on 12th December 1943 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Indian Army, serving in India and Malaya and promoted War Substantive Lieutenant on 12th June 1944. Following the end of the war Peter was awarded the 1939-45 Star, Burma Star and War Medal 1939-45, being ineligible for both the Defence and India Service Medal, failing to meet the time qualifying criteria. He married Wendy A Bethell in Peterborough during the third quarter of 1946 having one son whose name is not known, and a daughter, Carol Angela who was born on 31st July 1948. Peter was appointed acting Captain on 3rd to 24th March 1946 and again from 3rd May to 20th October 1946, but then placed on the unemployed list, under Release Regulations 1945 on 21st October 1946. Five years later on 28th April 1951 Peter was transferred form the Regular Army Reserve of Officers Special List into the Royal Berkshire Regiment as a Lieutenant transferring again on 29th May 1952 to the Special List (Infantry) and on 25th October 1952 posted to Malaya during the emergency in the region and as part of the Federation of Malaya Regular Forces, which were administered by the Government of the Federation of Malaya. Wendy and Carol followed on 17th February 1953 aboard the SS Empire Orwell sailing from Southampton to Singapore. He was promoted to Temporary Captain on 1st January 1953 until 13th May 1955 and in the London Gazette of 31st May 1955 Mentioned in Despatches in recognition of ‘distinguished service in Malaya during the period 1st July to 31st December 1954’, also being awarded the General Service Medal with clasp ‘Malaya’. Wendy and Carol again returning separately on 13th March. He was promoted to substantive Captain on 19th July 1955 and on 24th March 1956 transferred into the Royal Army Ordnance Corps retaining the rank of Captain. He saw service in the Aden Colony following the Imam of Oman’s rebellion against the Sultan of Muscat between 1957 and 1960 and awarded a second clasp to his GSM ‘Arabian Peninsula’. By 1958 Peter was shown on the electoral Register as residing at the same address as his Mother, 68 Hatherley Court, Hatherley Grove in Paddington, but listed as a Service Voter. He was promoted to Major on 19th September 1961 and in 1964 living 51 Harcourt Road, Bushey, London. On 4th January 1968 Peter’s Daughter Carole married Lieutenant David William James in Christ Church Garrison Church, Pembroke. Peter was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 31st December 1969 and with an antedate of seniority to 30th June 1969. He was shown as living at Canal Cottage, Gnosall, Stoke-on-Trent in 1972 and in 1973 was Officer Commanding Equipment Provisions Branch at Donnington. In May 1974 he was appointed OC Mechanical Transport Stores Central Ordnance Depot at Chilwell before being appointed to the Special List on 16th July 1975 and posted to British Forces Germany, HQ Paderborn Garrison, in the Eastern North-West Rhine Westphalia region; where in 1977 he was awarded the Silver Jubilee Medal. Peter retired from the Army on retired pay on 1st October 1978 aged 55 and in January 1979 joined the directorate of Supply Management as an RO3 but left in July the same year to find a job closer to his home in Warminster. Peter was a keen golfer and in 1983 was shown living 18 Orchard Road, Westbury, Wiltshire. He died during the third quarter of 1988 in Bournemouth, Hampshire.
The Story The group of medals awarded to Peter James Cayley Vyner were first seen on the internet in May 2013, arousing interest because of the slightly unusual combination and particularly the double clasped General Service Medal with a Mention in Despatches. They were not acquired at the time, but remained on sale for the next two years, constantly being checked to see if anyone has actually taken them and their price dropping occasionally. During an ‘April Sale ‘ in 2015, the price was reduced further and the decision made to take them. They were finally added to the collection on 6th May 2015, two years after originally being viewed. A trawl of Ancestry.UK and the London Gazette, together with the campaigns Peter served in, have enabled a brief biography of him to be pieced together to be preserved for posterity.
- 1939-45 Star: Unnamed as issued.
- Burma Star: Unnamed as issued.
- War Medal 1939-45: Unnamed as issued.
- General Service Medal: CAPT. P.J.C.VYNER, GEN LIST.
- SilverJubilee Medal 1977: Unnamed as issued.
This page last updated 22 May 15