29th September 1998
Herm tenant Major Peter Wood died
Born Alexander George Wood in 1915, the New Zealander who would become better known as Peter Wood, tenant of Herm, moved to the UK in his teens.
He served in the Royal Engineers during the Second World War and married his wife, Jenny, shortly after the war was over. They moved to Herm in 1949 as the first long-term tenants of the States of Guernsey’s newly acquired island.
The island was in a terrible state at the time. It had been evacuated during the occupation and left to decay. However, they worked closely with the States to repair and rebuild it. Doing so was a condition of the leasehold agreement they had signed.
Little of the tourist infrastructure that is present on the island today was in place at the time, so they had to renovate both the Manor House (which became their home) and St Trugal’s Chapel. They also established a farm and installed a telephone line back to Guernsey. The Manor wasn’t particularly grand at the time: it was just a two-bedroom cottage, which was completely obscured by weeds.
The couple had two children already when they moved to Herm and four more while living there. In 1980, then aged 65, Peter and Jenny handed over the day-to-day running to their daughter, Pennie, and her husband Adrian. They remained tenants in their own right until 2008 when they sold the lease to John and Julian Singer.
Major Peter died on 29 September 1998. He had been widowed seven years earlier upon Jenny’s death. The two are buried in a joint plot at St Trugal’s Chapel on the island.