Ex-Army Major who brought life to 19th century home in Fleet dies at 62
An ex-Army officer who took part in the 1982 Falklands War before moving to Fleet, where he restored a former 19th century rectory, has died, aged 62.
Peter Day was the owner of Battleford Hall which he bought in 2006, along with friend Steven Holmes, before spending two years on returning it to its former glory after more than a decade of neglect.
Over the years, Peter was the driving force behind many events that raised money for the local charity
Mr Day, who died suddenly at his home on October 30, also set up the Fleet Preservation Trust (FPT) in 2006 which was the inspiration behind the annual Fleet and District Country Show held at Battleford Hall, near St Mary Magdalene Church.
Sue Anderson, chairman of Holbeach Horticultural Society and a friend of Mr Day’s, said: “Over the years, Peter was the driving force behind many events that raised money for the local charity.
“He was always keen to get involved with any fundraising events locally, but Peter was also very sociable and hospitable to everybody who visited his house where they would be made welcome by him.
According to a tribute published in the Mid-Elloe Villager Community Magazine, Mr Day was born “into an Army way of life as his father was in the Royal Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, while his grandfather was thought to have been an officer in the Royal Artillery”.
He attended a military school in Dover and went on to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1974.
The tribute added: “Peter joined the Royal Signals and then proceeded to travel to many far-flung places, particularly enjoying his times in Kenya and Zimbabwe.
“He learned to parachute and joined the display team for the Royal Signals before going on to have a brief stint in the Falklands and then retiring from the British Army in 1987.”
Mr Day was a mercenary in the Middle East before working in the City of London while, at the same time, establishing his own property management company.
He eventually moved to Fleet where he was treasurer of the church council and a trustee of the FPT which gave grants to Fleet Wood Lane Primary School, Hovenden House care home and the church.
A Fleet Parish Council spokesman said: “Peter, along with four other friends, formed the FPT in 2006 to put on events and raise money to benefit local good causes.
“Fleet Wood Lane School received a grant, as did St Mary Magdalene Church and Hovenden House to name but a few.
“What was initially a garden fete turned into a larger event when the local horticultural society became involved and 2017 was the first year this has not been held since its inception.
“Peter very generously allowed the events to be held at Battleford Hall which provided the perfect location and he worked tirelessly to ensure that each one was a great success.”