Peter Yo Yo Newton

1st Bn Lancashire Fusiliers
28th April 2014

by Peter's Son Also called Peter
Peter Patrick Newton was born in Bootle 1932 Liverpool, the first son of Bunny and Harry Newton followed by 2 brothers and a sister Michael, Wendy and John. His mother being a fan of the Peter Pan story.
The 1940s came and the war left my father with no father for 5 years; Of those childhood memories he told me I have images of bikes rides to North Wales and picnics straight out of the famous five books although I'm sure Enid Blyton never had stories that mentioned getting caught on a barbed wire fence or fishing with hand grenades acquired from the MOD ordnance stores. Dad never seemed sure of what happened to the ammunition buried at the end of their garden either.
Liverpool was his home city and the football team he followed for the whole of his life and part of him will be scattered in the Mersey a place close to his heart and our family.
He left Liverpool as a boy to attend the Army Apprentice College-Chepstow in South Wales and found a talent in the sport of boxing, which led to a total of 236 fights of which I believe over 200 he won including those he had the late in the 1940s with the Lancashire Fusiliers. To give you an idea what this means your average professional boxer ends his career with around 30 fights and the current average amateur boxer has 20 fights per year. In 1948 Field Marshal The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein awarded the Sgt. Cyril Gallie, memorial cup for best boxing performance over three years to my father.
In 1950 he left for Egypt with the Lancashire Fusiliers as a regular soldier and developed his nickname of Yo-yo due to his ability of gaining rank quickly and losing it just as fast. Both Dad and later his brother Michael discovered the love of the desert and it's open wilderness. Following from Egypt he severed in Kenya against the Mau Mau and his lasting impression was the romantic African sunset.
In September 1955 he left the army and spent the start of his civilian life in London where sometimes in the evening he played drums at a local club with Harry S. whom later became an In-house TV pianist. Dad had great rhythm and knew how to dance, probably due to the pretty feet he always said he had.
In 1967 my dad met my Mum, June at a club in Croydon and started dating maybe due to the feet and dancing. I was the result of the courtship and my dad's only son. They married and been have lovingly together in sickness and in health since then. I can remember family holidays in Cornwall and Spain and Dad's effective method of teaching me to swim, when I requested challenging 'throw me in the pool' he did just that.

Around the late 1970s he returned to boxing this time as a volunteer coach for a number of years at the Sir Philips Game Boxing Club in Croydon, a club that boasted Frank Bruno as one of its protégés. Sadly in the early 1980s it closed from council pressure as Boxing became out of vogue as a British sport.
After I left home in the 90s Mum and Dad moved from Croydon to Surrey and into gradual retirement after 15 years of civilian work in various roles including director and purchasing manager. The advancement in technology allowed Peter to develop a passion for flying planes, on his computer with flight simulator games and then there was the care and feeding of wild foxes and his work on his allotment; always an avid gardener like his brother John.
Peter remained connected with the Fusiliers proudly attending memorial marches. He was an active member of the committee that in 2003 finally achieved recognition for the Suez Crisis and enabled all those veterans to wear the Canal Zone clasp on their General Service Medal.

Those family trips and bike rides that took Peter and his family to North Wales, must have been best of times as both he and Michael moved to Wales to spend their last years here but sadly 20 years apart.
The move to Wales in 2004 enabled Peter to have his own garden again and for many of the next ten years in his own words gave him a 'terrific harvest'.
My last memories of dad will be preparing his garden for the spring....
He was a gentleman, with a stoic attitude to his health, a caring loving husband with a deep love of his own family; it's history and the regiment he previously served.
Dad…..I, mum, we, they love you and will miss you always as you have missed Harry, Michael, Eric, Frank and others.

Just to remind everyone who now wears the Canal Zone clasp on their GSM that Pete sat on the Committee which eventually got the award recognised. He held his own and spoke up amongst the Generals and senior Officers who eventually gained the award for all Suez Vets. Maurice Taylor
(Peter is hiding in the background next to man in white rain coat)