In the middle of 1951 the family moved to Cape Town and resided in a small cottage that belonged to and which backed onto to his father’s parents’ house. The address was ‘The Bungalow’, Roslyn Road, Rondedosch, Cape.
Early one Sunday morning, before he was two years of age, Phillip and I were awakened by loud knocking on the front door and on answering this found a large policeman on the door step with Peter in tow. Apparently the child had climbed out of his cot, which was in a room adjoining ours, walked through our bedroom and out into the street. He wandered off about half a mile or more to the main road and there encountered the policeman. On being asked where he lived he managed to lisp out, as he had been taught to do, “Bungawo, Woslind Road, Bondebosch”, {“Bungalow’, Roslyn Road, Rondebosch.], which enable the policeman to return him home safely before he had even been missed!
Immediately after Andrew’s birth, I took him and Peter to stay with my parents for a couple of months and, while we were living with them, Peter made friends with a small boy called ‘Graham’. However, Peter called him ‘Grim’ and bossed him about no end. They played many games with the strong wooden boxes that contained various mineral water drinks, which my father always ordered by the dozen. These became cars, aeroplanes, houses and trains, with Peter always the one in charge, so it was “Grim, I’m the engine driver, you can be the guard” or “Grim, I’m the racing driver, you can be the passenger” or “Grim, I’m flying the ‘plane”. Fortunately, ‘Grim’ was always most compliant and they got on very well together.
We were also staying there at the time of Peter’s second birthday and my mother, the proud granny, decided to give a party and ask various small cousins (with their grannies) and a friend of ours who had lived next door to us in Parktown North, whose name was Joan, plus her two young children. The small visitors were all seated around the table, the cake was brought in, all with great ceremony, and Peter was told to blow out the candles.   This, however, was followed by a deathless hush as his little voice piped up, “I blew the bloody candles out!”
Of course, my mother, who hated bad language of any kind was mortified, but Joan came to the rescue, starting a cheerful rendering of “Happy Birthday, dear Peter,” and the others were, of course, forced to join in.
The family only remained in Cape Town for a year (1952) before returning to Johannesburg where they stayed at ‘Graystones’ for a while. Both Peter and Andrew attended The Bluebird Nursery School in Rosebank during each morning, when they were too young for Preparatory School.
I cannot remember quite when it was that we took a trip up to Rhodesia to visit various members of the May, Nolan and Howard families. However, I am sure it was before Andrew was born. Anyway, Peter was very small and I recall two incidents of note. The first was when we visited my Gran and took her for a drive to wherever. As we got into the car, with her sitting on the front seat and Peter and me in the back, he leaned over and said into her ear, “Great Gran you must not put your head out the window”. She was very taken with this but I suppose that we played it down saying “Peter, don’t be silly”, because the next day she produced a newspaper cutting of a motor accident where a lady’s head had been badly damaged because she was leaning out of the car. She kept saying to us, “There you are, I told you Peter was very clever!” and, consequently, he was really pleased with himself.
The second occurred during a visit to Aunt Gladys. She and I were walking in the garden and Peter was tottering along the path ahead of us when he picked up a stick, swung it around very vaguely and hit one of Gladys’ chickens on the head. Of course the bird dropped down dead. Had he tried to do this on purpose, he could never have managed it in a month of Sundays! I was, naturally, very embarrassed and did not know what to say or do. I really wanted to laugh, but didn’t dare under the circumstances. However, as always, Gladys was very understanding even though loosing her chicken must have upset her.
Then, while at ‘Graystones’, at about the age of three, Peter with his African nanny and small baby brother, Andrew, went to play up in the hall (it would probably be called a recreation room these days), which was above the double garage. The previous evening his grandparents had entertained a large crowd with an evening of dancing and there was a quantity of balloons left over from these festivities. Gathering together a bunch of these, Peter trotted up the drive and climbed onto the wide, stonewall. He was sitting there when a group of children passed on their way to church which was next door but one. Well, the children all duly arrived for ‘Sunday school’, which was held in the rectory garden, each with a balloon and Peter came into the house with a pocket full of ‘tickeys’! [A ‘tickey’ was the name given in South Africa to a small silver coin, which was the equivalent of a three-penny bit and which later became a three-cent piece]. His mother only got to know what had happened when she heard him clinking the coins in his pocket and dragged the story out of him and questioned the nanny.
When Peter and his brother were a bit older they also attended the Sunday School classes and one day returned to tell me that all the other children informed the teacher when they had birthdays and they wanted to do this, but as their birthdays had passed at the beginning of the year, before they went there, I suggested that they tell the teacher that their great granny’s 80th birthday was in a fortnight. I did not realise that this would necessitate all the children celebrating great granny’s birthday with a large cake, candles, sweets and singing, but that was what happened. I hope the teachers got as much fun out of this as all the children did because Peter’s excited recounting of the event would have made it all worthwhile.
Peter was three, not quite four years old and the family were living at ‘Graystones’ when his grandmother died in December 1953. Shortly after this, in about the February, his father went by sea to Britain and in about May, his mother and the two children flew over to join him. They were there for approximately five months.
The only anecdote I can think of concerning him during that time was when we visited Hungerford and stayed in an old hotel, where the manageress boasted that Queen Elizabeth had slept in the large four-poster bed in which Peter and Andrew were to spend the night. Thereafter Peter took the opportunity to inform a number of people that he had “slept in Princess Elizabeth’s bed”. He had, of course, heard of the Princess, but had no knowledge of Good Queen Bess!
The family remained at ‘Graystones’ after we returned from England and just prior to Christmas I took Peter shopping with me in Rosebank to a shop called ‘Belfast’ where I succumbed to the temptation to buy him a Lucky Dip. Fearing that I had probably wasted the half a crown (25 cents) we were delighted with the contents of a complete ‘Indian suit’ of small cotton trousers, jacket with imitation leather pieces and a brightly coloured, feathered Indian headdress. I realised that the shop had certainly got its money’s worth in advertising when Peter said, ‘Now we will always shop at Belfast, won’t we mummy?’ Later, when the suit was still a favourite for dressing up, I stitch another shirt and pants and Aunt Con collected some turkey feathers for me to make another Indian headdress, so that both brothers could play ‘Indian games’. She also provided some fur, with a tailpiece for me to make a ‘Davy Crockett’ hunting cap that gave them a lot of fun.
At the age of six Peter attended the Rosebank Junior School for a year including the time after his grandfather remarried and the family moved to Bramley.
While we were in this rented property, we were trying to build up a new business with the agencies acquired during the time spent in U.K.   In order that I could help with the bookkeeping while remaining at home with the children, our partner’s wife, Audrey Hitchens, came to our house so that we could work on the books together. Across the road lived a very pleasant and friendly lady (we used to bake biscuits together and exchange plants) and her son was about Peter’s age. One afternoon, Peter went across to play with the son and they decided to climb over the fence into the backyard. This must have aroused the dog, which was normally quite docile and he attacked Peter, tearing his ear badly. I heard his cries, dashed across to him, took him home and quickly wrapped his whole head in a bandage. Then, into the car, leaving the other children in Audrey’s care, and drove to the Children’s Hospital. After a nerve-racking wait, a doctor stitched the severed ear together and we were able to return home that evening. In my imagination I can still hear the boys’ screams as the dog attacked Peter.
Then the following year when the family moved down to the Cape once again, he went off to boarding school at ‘Monterey’ in Constantia aged seven. It was decided to send the boys to ‘Monterey’ on the recommendation of Peter and Win Picton and at the time this seemed to be the best arrangement we could make. It was a very nice school with many good aspects and advantages, set in Constantia, a beautiful part of the Cape and the school buildings were converted from a very well built and attractive ‘manor’ type house originally belonging to an Englishman called, Tren ??? . He had brought out to South Africa from England all the workmen needed to construct this home in the English style and the staff to run it thereafter, what he had built as immaculate stables became the boys’ dormitories.
However, as it turned out that the Picton’s middle son took a delight in bullying Peter, which we did not know until Peter told us as an adult, this was probably not as satisfactory a decision as we believed at the time.
 In June the family moved from Rondebosch to the farm, ‘Eendraght’ near Firgrove and of the three boys, Peter seemed to get the most pleasure from living there. Apart from the animals, there were trees to climb, a dam for fishing and they built a raft out of 45-gallon drums. Unfortunately, the horse that was bought for them to ride died shortly afterwards, but there were many other interests and occupations for them at the farm.
It was while they were living at ‘Eendracht’ that the three boys went down with mumps. Fortunately, Peter never seemed to react very badly to these childhood diseases and had escaped the worst of measles when we were at ‘Graystones’, leaving Andrew bedridden for much longer than he was and neither of them were very ill with the chicken pox caught when we were in Bramley, unlike baby Warwick, then only about six months old. As it was, the two older boys thought it so funny when Warwick swelled up with mumps that they insisted on taking his photograph while he was in bed in the back bedroom.
After completing his preparatory schooling at Monterey, Peter went on to the college at St. George’s Grammar School.

Peter at age 16
We had anticipated sending Peter to St. Andrew’s school for boys, in Grahamstown, which had a very good reputation and some years before he even started his schooling at Monterey had made enquiries about his attending this college. There was an exchange of letters, brochures, etc. and we believed that his name had been placed on the ‘waiting list’. However, when we wrote again during his last term at Monterey, the Bursar replied that he did not have any record of this and therefore would not be able to accommodate Peter.   We then approached Mr. Douglas Waugh, who was the Cape Town partner of Max Pollak & Freemantle and a long time friend of my parents, and who was also on the Board of St. George’s Grammar School, explained the position to him and he helped to organise Peter’s belated acceptance there.