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Peter Gundill

Date of birth: 1.7.1917
Date of death: 5.6.1942
Area: Knottingley
Regiment: West Yorkshire (Prince of Wales’s Own)
Family information: Son of E Norman Gundill and Dorothy Gundill (nee Bentley)
Rank: Lieutenant
Service number: 156302

War Service

Lieutenant Peter Gundill, service number 156302, was in the 2nd Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own) when he died on 5th June 1942 age 24. He was buried at Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya Plot 10 Row J Grave 4.
The defence against Rommel’s drive across Cyrenaica towards Suez consisted of a number of irregularly spaced strong points or “boxes” linked by deep minefields. Those nearest the Axis forces were held by infantry, while those further back served as reserve static positions and as bases from which the armour could operate. The chief “box”, known as Knightsbridge, was round a junction of tracks about 20 kilometres west of Tobruk and 16 kilometres south of Acroma, commanding all the tracks by which supplies came up to the front. The Eighth Army’s advance fuelling stations and airfields were at Acroma, El Adem, El Duda, Sidi Rezegh and Gambut, while by February 1941, Gazala aerodrome, taken from the Italians early in the campaign, housed two Commonwealth squadrons. Knightsbridge was thus a key position and the pivot on which the armour manoeuvred during the heavy fighting which commenced in late May 1942. Fierce actions were fought at all these places and a battlefield cemetery was created at each for the burial of the dead.
The graves of many of those who gave their lives during the campaign in Libya were later gathered into Knightsbridge War Cemetery from the battlefield burial grounds and from scattered desert sites.
Lieutenant Gundill’s body was at first unidentified and was described as “unknown British”.
Pontefract & Castleford Express 12th March 1943 p 6
Mr & Mrs E N Gundill of The Grove, Knottingley, received official intimation on Friday, that their younger son, Lieut. Peter Gundill (24), of the West Yorkshire Regiment, who was already reported missing, was killed in action in the Middle East in June. Lieut. Gundill joined the Forces at the outbreak of war and went abroad about two years ago. He was educated at Sedbergh and at Clare College, Cambridge, where he took a “first” in the Law Tripos in June 1939 and was entered as a student for the Bar in the Middle Temple. Mr Gundill is a partner in the firm of Carter, Bentley and Gundill, Solicitors, Pontefract.”

Family Life

Peter Gundill was born on 1st July 1917 and he was baptised on 2nd August 1917 at the Wesleyan Chapel, Knottingley. He was the son of Edward Norman Gundill (BA Cantab) and Dorothy (nee Bentley) who married in the second quarter of 1914 and their marriage was registered at Pontefract.


Knightsbridge War Cemetery with date palms in the foreground and rows of gravestones behind Knightsbridge War Cemetery

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