The music playing is Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond Peter's Favorite song

RSM WO1 Peter Lander

11th July 2013
Following National Service with the 2nd Battalion in Trieste, Peter joined the 1st Bn and served with them until the Lancashire Fusiliers disbanded in 1969.
Peter was RSM of 2nd Bn Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
1976 to 1979
RSM of the 5th Bn Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
1979 to 1981 in Coventry


Peter (Jnr) words about his dad
Many people say that their Dads are one in a million, it’s an often used phrase to describe how special someone is to them.

My Dad started his working life in a wallpaper factory, and as such he was one in hundreds. At that time he met my mum and the fact that this beautiful lady agreed to marry him already showed how special he was.

He then joined the army, becoming one of hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the british army.

He narrowed the numbers further, as his talents were noticed, being promoted through the ranks until he became the Regimental Sergeant Major. There is only one of those in a regiment, and that showed how truly unique my dad was.

At that he could have rested on his laurels, but that wasn’t his way, and he excelled in that role, as he excelled at everything he did. All of the tributes to him from his colleagues throughout the army, pay homage to what he brought to the role of RSM. He was a gentleman. I’ll let that sink in a second as not many people are deserving of that name. Yet so many who have written about him, on the Lancashire Fusilier web page, through to facebook, have said the same, he was a true gentleman. He understood ceremony, how things should be done, and he made sure that the traditions and gravitas of the army were carried on in his name whilst he served.

This sounds like a serious man, and when occasion allowed, that he was. Yet he was also a joker and all here who knew him have almost certainly been on the end of one of his dry comments, his wicked smile or his contagious laugh, and had no choice but to laugh with him.

He was an entertainer, never far from the centre of attention, usually in the middle of it, whether in a swimming pool in Hong Kong, conducting an orchestra of his very own creation or in a chicken suit in the working man’s club in Ramsbottom, he belonged on centre stage.

He was also a family man who loved his family dearly. We followed him throughout his travels, my mum suddenly also finding herself in Hong Kong, with a Chinese maid and a social life like none other, all of us enriched by the experiences, not just of geography, but of a man who was respected in every posting. We reflected in his glory.

This again sounds like a man of gravity, of seriousness, yet his family were not immune to that famous smile, that sense of humour either. He would wander with us on a seafront, in Holland, or the UK, our caravan safely on site as we took in the evening air. As we walked, he would reach out a hand to his wife, a loving gesture that all couples share. And as she took his hand, for the 100th time, he would place a small rubber shark in it and for the 100thtime, my mum would jump back in horror, before realizing that he’d got her, yet again….

He was also a mentor. He guided me through my childhood with me always knowing that he was behind me. He encouraged my decision to go to boarding school to ensure that I had a good last 2 years of education, and then with a firm hand, kept me there when homesickness took hold. He even encouraged me when I told him, nervously, that I was going to bat for the other side… to join the RAF rather than the Army. This man, who went from wallpaper factory worker to Regimental Sergeant Major taught me that I should never feel second best to anyone, to have confidence and conviction in all that I do, to do every single job to the best of my ability, but most of all, he taught me to smile, as I know he is smiling with us right now.


Karen's words about her dad
Dad was very poorly as a child, he was born with a heart murmur and he had scarlet fever and pneumonia and spent a year in a convalescent home recovering.

This did not discourage him from his determination to become a soldier and then typical of Dad to become a first class soldier, which he did with flying colours.

I remember him in his forties running for miles before breakfast, wrapped in bin bags because he said that if his men had to pass the BFT test then so did he.

His determination and pride in everything he did has been passed to both of us and we will keep this alive as we forge ahead with our careers.

I have many memories of my precious Dad, which I will treasure, most of which involve him laughing and making us laugh which is a skill in itself.

He used to roar laughing watching Norman Wisdom and Morecambe and Wise and listening to Mike Harding, we had many happy hours laughing with him and at him as he shed tears of laughter at the antics of these comedy giants.

He loved Glen Campbell’s music, and he had a reel-to-reel Grundig tape recorder, which he used to set up with the microphone on a stand, inches from the t.v. and record Glen’s show, we had to sit very quiet and still for the whole show, I think he must have told Peter Kay about this.

On rare occasions Dad would break into song, in particular ‘Sweet Caroline’, the song has been painful for me to hear for a long time and I hope that in years to come I can listen to it and smile as I remember him, head back and in full voice with the odd itchy coo thrown in to enhance the song.

I can remember being on a bus full of army families on their way to new beginnings in a new country, all nervous and excited and Dad being the life and soul on the bus, laughing and joking and putting people at ease as they started a new chapter in their lives.

My most treasured memory is from when I was a small child in Hong Kong and on Saturday night’s when he was dressed up ready to take Mum out and she was still getting ready, he would play ‘Save the last dance for me’ on the stereo, place my feet on his, hug me so close to him that I could smell his aftershave and he would waltz me around the room and sing the words to me.

Dad I have to stand on my own two feet now and begin another new chapter of my life, without you.


Capt Joe Eastwood's words about an old friend and fellow soldier

My first memory of Pete was at the depot Sutton Coldfield where he was a Training Cpl.
During my somewhat disappointing time doing National Service, I had formed a rather poor impression of what NCOs' were generally made of.
Pete dispelled many of those ideas, he was a charismatic, fit, handsome Corporal who seemed to be everywhere at once, umpiring cricket, refereeing football and all done with a great deal of good humour.

Later at Weeton, I recall that he was the Officers mess steward, where many of our Officers recall that he was very very highly thought of.

I also recall that it was my first year in the Sgt's mess and that Pete was the PMC and that he organized one of the best Christmas Draws I ever attended, even though he and Dot won just about everything.

In Hong Kong he was at the centre of mess and family life, by then our two families were close friends and I got to know just how many fine qualities he had, but this did not prevent him hooking out my leg during the final of the Sgt's Mess limbo competition!

Following the demise of the Lancashire Fusiliers, Pete went to 2RRF where for a time he was the family's office Staff Sgt,
a role which he relished and was ideally suited for.

Later, we were to work closely together when he became CSM of B Coy 2RRF and I was at that time commanding 5 platoon.

It was during this period that I observed yet another fine quality, that of loyalty.
There had been a sequence of less than inspiring leaders inflicted upon us, and Pete was fiercely loyal to them, he would not allow them to be denigrated in his presence, a loyalty to be found much lacking in certain senior NCOs' later in the life of our regiment.

His promotion to RSM came at a good time for us, we had suffered a despot for the previous 2 years and Pete set about the job in his usual efficient, quiet unassuming manner, setting a fine example to all around him of how this challenging appointment should be handled.

When he moved as RSM to our TA Bn, his reputation went ahead of him and if anything became enhanced by the sterling work he did leading part time soldiers.

To his dear family I say this:-

What though the radiance, which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass,
of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.

Rest in Peace Sir